Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A commoner; a plebeian.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A common person, someone of a lower class.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of the common people; a plebeian; a low-born person.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one of the common people

Etymologies

Short for plebeian, or perhaps back-formation from plebs.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Abbreviation of plebeian ("member of the lower class in ancient Rome"), or by back-formation from Latin plebs. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Yes Stephen Fry, I'll settle for 'pleb' … Shame you're not yourself, you toffee-nosed Establishment stooge.

    Guy Fawkes' blog

  • "Several cadets threatened to resign, some advocated maiming him for life, and a Democratic 'pleb' from Illinois exclaimed, 'I'd rather die than drill with the black devil.'

    Henry Ossian Flipper The Colored Cadet at West Point

  • Cameron is a posh pleb but if your assertion about him is correct and he views a country as having to abide by "household economics" then broadly speaking I could possibly agree with him,especially as in theory he governs a fertile island with an existing infrastructure.

    John Maynard Keynes: The master and the doctor | Editorial

  • I was beginning to feel like a pleb; as if I'd lost a bet with a friend with the forfeit being to traipse around the corridors of a hotel in nothing but a discoloured beach towel.

    A rainy day in Shanghai

  • The rhetoric of prejudicial disdain is meted out, on the one hand against the “hoity-toity”, and on the other against the “hoi poloi” -- against the “snob” with complex tastes and the “pleb” with simple tastes.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Prescriptivism in the strange fiction genres is ideally situated to act as carrier of anti-intellectualism and classism, with advocates of more commercial fiction decreeing complex works “improper” and advocates of more complex fiction decreeing commercial works “improper”, each opponent of “elitist wank” or “populist trash” ironically engendering a counter-response that abjects them as a “pleb” or a “snob”.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • There was nothing there for a poor pleb like me, so I ended up skimming over the last two hundred pages.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • "I fear there will a worse come in his place", the prescient pleb says in Julius Caesar after the tyrant is toppled.

    Egypt: The army's fateful choice | Editorial

  • This civvie was at his desk, making sure that all your wonderful (ahem) IT systems were up and running, but Im just a pleb and not management.

    The Smooth And Efficient Running Of A Police Station « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • And we didnt on July 27, 2009 at 7: 19 pm Olivers Army re the link from amy barnes – it makes me bloody livid to hear the bleating coming from that pleb, about his human rights and his precious feelings.

    Kingsnorth, Battlecat and A Distinct Lack Of Leadership. « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

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