Definition of plebe in English:



  • A newly entered cadet or freshman, especially at a military or naval academy.

    as modifier ‘my plebe year was the only year in which I did not feel like an unwelcome minority’
    • ‘It happened near the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City during my plebe year.’
    • ‘As the plebes looked around in confusion, I watched Michael spin Lindsay around and dance in the corniest style I had ever seen in my life.’
    • ‘‘Yes, beautiful, sexy, passionate, sweet Emily,’ he said like a plebe.’
    • ‘What technology has the Space Shuttle program provided us plebes?’
    • ‘It's not the way we treat anyone - a fresh recruit or a plebe at West Point.’
    • ‘Before going to bed at the US Naval Academy, a plebe shouts ‘Good night!’’
    • ‘The summer before classes begin, they direct the eight weeks of military training for incoming plebes and yearlings.’
    • ‘Webb depicts the physical abuse of plebes at the hands of upperclassmen, a practice that has been abolished, but he still vividly captures the sense of honor that pervades U.S. service academies.’
    • ‘He later wrote, ‘At that party I knew that Shannon did not have the slightest chance of surviving the plebe system.’’
    • ‘In the age of positive feedback, potentates (often the ‘grande’ and ‘vente’ variety) are frequently called upon to evaluate the performance of plebes who report to them.’
    novice, starter, learner, student, pupil, trainee, apprentice, probationer
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: perhaps an abbreviation of plebeian.