Definitions

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

  • adj. Widely liked or appreciated: a popular resort.
  • adj. Liked by acquaintances; sought after for company: "Beware of over-great pleasure in being popular or even beloved” ( Margaret Fuller).
  • adj. Of, representing, or carried on by the people at large: the popular vote.
  • adj. Fit for, adapted to, or reflecting the taste of the people at large: popular entertainment; popular science.
  • adj. Accepted by or prevalent among the people in general: a popular misunderstanding of the issue.
  • adj. Suited to or within the means of ordinary people: popular prices.
  • adj. Originating among the people: popular legend.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the common people, or to the whole body of the people, as distinguished from a select portion
  • adj. Suitable to common people; easy to be comprehended; not abstruse; familiar; plain.
  • adj. Adapted to the means of the common people; possessed or obtainable by the many; hence, cheap; common; ordinary; inferior
  • adj. Beloved or approved by the people; pleasing to people in general, or to many people
  • adj. Devoted to the common people; studious of the favor of the populace.
  • adj. Prevailing among the people; epidemic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to the people; constituted by or depending on the people, especially the common people: as, the popular voice; popular elections; popular government.
  • Suitable to or intended for common people; easy to be comprehended; not technical or abstruse; plain; familiar: as, a popular treatise on astronomy.
  • Enjoying the favor of the people; pleasing to people in general: as, a popular preacher; a popular war or peace.
  • Desirous of obtaining the favor of the people; courting the vulgar; of demagogic proclivities.
  • Prevailing among the people; epidemic.
  • Plebeian; vulgar.
  • Conceited.

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

  • adj. representing or appealing to or adapted for the benefit of the people at large
  • adj. carried on by or for the people (or citizens) at large
  • adj. regarded with great favor, approval, or affection especially by the general public
  • adj. (of music or art) new and of general appeal (especially among young people)

Etymologies

Middle English populer, commonly known, from Old French populeir, of the people, from Latin populāris, from populus, the people, of Etruscan origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin populāris, from populus ("people") + -āris ("-ar"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thus that _one means to national prosperity is popular education_ is an immediate inference, if the evidence for it is no more than the admission that _popular education is a means to national prosperity: _ Similarly, it is an immediate inference that _Some authors are vain_, if it be granted that _All authors are vain_.

    Logic Deductive and Inductive

  • The popular vote had been so light that it really looked as though the people had cared very little which candidate should succeed; and to talk about a manifestation of the _popular will_ was absurd, for the only real manifestation had been of popular indifference.

    John Quincy Adams American Statesmen Series

  • They may resent the imposition of American culture in the form of movies and music, but that’s only because our popular culture is so *popular* that it drowns out native culture.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » “Why Do They Hate Us?”:

  • Inshoot “Inshoot” was a term popular in the 1890s.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • Among the earliest uses of the term popular culture is an anonymous Contemporary Review editorial, reprinted under that title in the New York Times, bemoaning its lack.

    Genres and niche markets

  • I've always wondered how James Luther Adams, who reinterpreted the meaning of "prophet" in ways that made the term popular among progressive Unitarian Universalists, really got around this point when it comes to the biblical prophets.

    Philocrites: March 2007 Archives

  • The third chapter concentrates on culture Jerram avoids the term "popular", encompassing music halls, cinema, cafés, bars, football stadiums, dance and jazz clubs, discos and TV-dominated living rooms.

    Top stories from Times Online

  • By the term popular speakers or popular writers I imply all those who do not direct their remarks exclusively to the learned.

    Aesthetical Essays of Frederich Schiller

  • Note: 1080p is another term popular in for televisions.

    Netvouz - new bookmarks

  • Just a week before the announcement, Cameron outlined his ideas on how to create what he called popular capitalism.

    Labour pressure made £1m bonus too hot to handle

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