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Definition of or belonging to common people — often implying a lack of refinement


an ordinary citizen of ancient Rome
  • switched from designer labels to more plebeian clothes at Wal-Mart
  • Implicit in the play is a great divide between superiors and inferiors, patricians and plebeians.
    T.E. Kalem  --  Time, 1973  --,9171,907198,00.html#ixzz0YqB0cDQU (retrieved 12/05/09)
  • I had forgotten I was a plebeian, I was remembering I was a man.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee
  • And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians;
    Shakespeare  --  Antony and Cleopatra
  • a plebeian magistrate
  • The patricians engaged in a perpetual struggle with the plebeians for the preservation of their ancient authorities and dignities;
    Alexander Hamilton  --  Federalist Papers
  • This is what we can afford; but also there's an unspoken rule that the food has to be unwaveringly plebeian.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Cat's Eye
  • I had forgotten I was a plebeian, I was remembering I was a man.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
  • My brother Peter is every bit as plebeian as anyone that walks in two shoes— (laughter and hisses) Peter Stockmann.
    Henrik Ibsen  --  An Enemy of the People
  • Cheerful and plebeian, shining for all alike.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid's Tale
  • The omission threw her back to some ignominious spot at the Circle, some plebeian place of being a spokeswoman, a public shill.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • Amaranta, was so scandalized with the plebeian invasion that she went back to eating in the kitchen as in olden days.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • A more plebeian one will answer my purpose just as well, and the pleasure of knowing whose heart my old one beats against—well, I won't speak of that.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Now (this is entirely between ourselves), is she very plebeian?'
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • I had always felt aversion to my uncourtly patronymic, and its very common, if not plebeian praenomen.
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  William Wilson
  • Mine was chaotic, plebeian, and disjointed.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • In the conittia tribuia, all citizens could vote, so the plebeian interest predominated.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers — Modern English Edition 2
  • It was a fair parallel between new Plebeianism and old Gentility.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • St. Cyr and his kin had found their masters, in those same plebeians whom they had despised.
    Baroness Orczy  --  The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • This displacement, which places the "elegant" name on the plebeian and the rustic name on the aristocrat, is nothing else than an eddy of equality.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables

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