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.’
    • ‘He later wrote, ‘At that party I knew that Shannon did not have the slightest chance of surviving the plebe system.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Before going to bed at the US Naval Academy, a plebe shouts ‘Good night!’’
    • ‘It's not the way we treat anyone - a fresh recruit or a plebe at West Point.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Yes, beautiful, sexy, passionate, sweet Emily,’ he said like a plebe.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The summer before classes begin, they direct the eight weeks of military training for incoming plebes and yearlings.’
    • ‘What technology has the Space Shuttle program provided us plebes?’
    novice, starter, learner, student, pupil, trainee, apprentice, probationer
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: perhaps an abbreviation of plebeian.