Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Widely liked or appreciated.
  • adjective Liked by acquaintances; sought after for company.
  • adjective Of, representing, or carried on by the people at large.
  • adjective Fit for, adapted to, or reflecting the taste of the people at large.
  • adjective Accepted by or prevalent among the people in general.
  • adjective Suited to or within the means of ordinary people.
  • adjective Originating among the people.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to the common people, or to the whole body of the people, as distinguished from a select portion
  • adjective Suitable to common people; easy to be comprehended; not abstruse; familiar; plain.
  • adjective Adapted to the means of the common people; possessed or obtainable by the many; hence, cheap; common; ordinary; inferior
  • adjective Beloved or approved by the people; pleasing to people in general, or to many people
  • adjective rare Devoted to the common people; studious of the favor of the populace.
  • adjective obsolete Prevailing among the people; epidemic.
  • adjective (Law) an action in which any person may sue for penalty imposed by statute.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English populer, commonly known, from Old French populeir, of the people, from Latin populāris, from populus, the people, of Etruscan origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin populāris, from populus ("people") + -āris ("-ar").

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

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

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • 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.

    Archive 2009-09-01

  • 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

  • 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: Philip Rieff on charisma, culture, and prophecy.

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • "I'm head of the class

    I'm popular

    I'm a quarterback

    I'm popular

    My mom says I'm a catch

    I'm popular

    I'm never last picked

    I got a cheerleader chick"

    January 9, 2007

  • After hearing this song, I can't think of the term "popular" without hearing it.

    January 10, 2007

  • Too bad the song sucked.

    December 4, 2011