plebeian

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj plebeian of or associated with the great masses of people "the common people in those days suffered greatly","behavior that branded him as common","his square plebeian nose","a vulgar and objectionable person","the unwashed masses"
    • n plebeian one of the common people
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Plebeian Of or pertaining to the common people; vulgar; common; as, plebeian sports; a plebeian throng.
    • Plebeian Of or pertaining to the Roman plebs, or common people.
    • Plebeian One of the plebs, or common people of ancient Rome, in distinction from patrician.
    • Plebeian One of the common people, or lower rank of men.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • plebeian Of or pertaining to or characteristic of the plebs or common people; vulgar.
    • plebeian Belonging to the lower ranks.
    • n plebeian One of the common people or lower ranks: first applied to the common people of ancient Rome, comprising those free citizens who were not descended from the original or patrician families. See plebs.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Plebeian plē-bē′an pertaining to, or consisting of, the common people: popular: vulgar
    • n Plebeian originally one of the common people of ancient Rome: one of the lower classes
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Quotations

  • Richard Rorty
    Richard Rorty
    “The usual picture of Socrates is of an ugly little plebeian who inspired a handsome young nobleman to write long dialogues on large topics.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. plebeius, from plebs, plebis, the common people: cf. F. plébéien,

Usage

In literature:

The Swiss are offended by being called gentlemen, and prove themselves true plebeians in order to be thought worthy of great office.
"Pascal's Pensées" by Blaise Pascal
We are crowded with plebeians; they have an excess of nobles.
"Great Sea Stories" by Various
Daily, noble and plebeian officers of the defeated army were seized.
"Historical Tales, Vol. 4 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Some time perhaps you'll be having my plebeian dish over at your house; then try asking me if you dare.
"The Chums of Scranton High" by Donald Ferguson
They possessed not even the picturesqueness of speech and costume which belongs to the plebeian orders of older civilizations.
"The Mayor of Warwick" by Herbert M. Hopkins
He was far too plebeian and too free.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete" by John Symonds
She felt that her plebeian hands were revenged: he was quite ordinary.
"One Woman's Life" by Robert Herrick
Thus the number of the Plebeians was greatly enlarged.
"A Smaller History of Rome" by William Smith and Eugene Lawrence
I was born and bred a plebeian, sir.
"Border and Bastille" by George A. Lawrence
His wretchedness was great; he had to bear the insults of the plebeian.
"Debit and Credit" by Gustav Freytag
Like a flaw in a diamond, a curious plebeian streak cut straight across his nature.
"Essays on Scandinavian Literature" by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
Iemon was a plebeian and a charlatan.
"The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari" by James S. De Benneville
She was fresh and pretty-looking, but of plebeian figure and countenance.
"The Mermaid" by Lily Dougall
Then followed an exhibition of plebeian cunning.
"The Lion's Brood" by Duffield Osborne
The barber's position was plebeian, though there are no indications of its having been one of poverty.
"Art in England" by Dutton Cook
We shall soner wante our Fathers and Senatours, then they their plebeian officers.
"The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1" by William Painter
What can be more admirable than this 'de bon air' plebeianism, and universal right-hand of fellowship?
"Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, March 1844" by Various
In mould of plebeian he never was cast (His caste was of gentlemen, wealthy and 'fast').
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 1, July, 1863" by Various
Bebel's book, speedily translated into English, furnished the plebeian complement to Mill's.
"The Task of Social Hygiene" by Havelock Ellis
Of narrow mental range and plebeian tastes, but moral, sincere, and stout-hearted, George III.
"History of the United States, Volume 2 (of 6)" by E. Benjamin Andrews
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In poetry:

A simple board is all that's seen,
Or points to where
In silence sleeps the poor plebeian,
Releas'd from earthly care.
"The Pauper’s Grave" by Benjamin Cutler Clark
Now widening seems the stream to be,
As evening stretches o'er ;
Plebeian tribes from toil set free
Pour forth from every door.
"A Town" by Jane Taylor
And where a rent primeval rock
Reared high its head o'er spire and dome,
Which seemed majestic and to mock
The structure of my plebeian home.
"The Youthful Villager And The Hermit" by James Madison Bell
Delirious Bulldogs; -- echoing calls
My daughter, -- green as summer grass; --
The long supine Plebeian ass,
The nasty crockery boring falls; --
"Parody of Tennyson'sTo Edward Lear on His Travels in Greece" by Edward Lear
The great and small but rarely meet
On terms of amity complete;
Plebeians must surrender,
And yield so much to noble folk,
It is combining fire with smoke,
Obscurity with splendour.
"Friendship" by William Cowper
"See through these veins the sapphire current shine!
'Twas Jove's own nectar gave th' ethereal hue:
Can base plebeian forms contend with mine,
Display the lovely white, or match the blue?
"Elegy XVI. He Suggests the Advantage of Birth To a Person of Merit" by William Shenstone

In news:

The digging is particularly strenuous because Germans have no time for the green asparagus favored in the United States, which is dismissed as easier to grow and pick, but coarse, unsubtle and plebeian.
Pleb — short for plebeian — comes from the Latin plebeius, the mass of ordinary citizens apart from the elite of upper-class patricians.
What really defines a city's food scene is not its four-star restaurants but its most plebeian cuisine—the glorified street fare that no one thinks about but everyone eats.
Certain celebrities are generous enough to provide constant entertainment to us plebeians.
LED technology has been infiltrating cars for nearly a decade, appearing first in Audi's odd illuminated eyebrows and then filtering down to the most plebeian Hyundais and Hondas.
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