- persons indefinitely or collectively; persons in general: to find it easy to talk to people; What will people think?
- persons, whether men, women, or children, considered as numerable individuals forming a group: Twenty people volunteered to help.
- human beings, as distinguished from animals or other beings.
- the entire body of persons who constitute a community, tribe, nation, or other group by virtue of a common culture, history, religion, or the like: the people of Australia; the Jewish people.
- the persons of any particular group, company, or number (sometimes used in combination): the people of a parish; educated people; salespeople.
- the ordinary persons, as distinguished from those who have wealth, rank, influence, etc.: a man of the people.
- the subjects, followers, or subordinates of a ruler, leader, employer, etc.: the king and his people.
- the body of enfranchised citizens of a state: representatives chosen by the people.
- a person's family or relatives: My grandmother's people came from Iowa.
- (used in the possessive in Communist or left-wing countries to indicate that an institution operates under the control of or for the benefit of the people, especially under Communist leadership): people's republic; people's army.
- animals of a specified kind: the monkey people of the forest.
- to furnish with people; populate.
- to supply or stock as if with people: a meadow peopled with flowers.
Origin of people
At one time, some usage guides maintained that people could not be preceded by a number, as in Fewer than 30 people showed up. This use is now unquestionably standard in all contexts.
Examples from the Web for peoples
But the Roman orator Cicero felt that Calgacus and the peoples vanquished by Rome were missing a broader point.War! What Is It Good For? A Lot
August 13, 2014
And white supremacists continue to advocate for a homeland in the Pacific Northwest for “the Aryan peoples of the earth.”One U.S. Constitution Just Wasn’t Enough
July 4, 2014
In Darfur, the Fur, Zaghawa, and Massaleit peoples have been targeted by the Sudan government, as were Muslims in Bosnia.Still a Problem From Hell, Two Decades After Rwanda
April 8, 2014
The Russian people should form the state at the center, “a nucleus around which other peoples are gathered.”Putin’s Dream of Empire Doesn’t Stop at Crimea, Or Even Ukraine
March 23, 2014
Annexation, he claimed, is simply protecting the Crimea and all its peoples, not just the ethnic Russians.Why Putin Did It
March 18, 2014
By these rules of conduct, we hope to be known to all peoples.
Yet each of these peoples has a history as noble as that of which the rose and the lion are the emblems.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
They tella me much other peoples no can understand hims too.
In a second room were to be found the histories of all the peoples on earth.The Chinese Fairy Book
Unfortunately the peoples imitated the bad as well as the good.Introductory American History
Henry Eldridge Bourne
- persons collectively or in general
- a group of persons considered togetherblind people
- plural peoples the persons living in a country and sharing the same nationalitythe French people
- one's familyhe took her home to meet his people
- persons loyal to someone powerfulthe king's people accompanied him in exile
- the people
- the mass of persons without special distinction, privileges, etc
- the body of persons in a country, esp those entitled to vote
- (tr) to provide with or as if with people or inhabitants
Word Origin and History for peoples
late 13c., "humans, persons in general," from Anglo-French people, Old French peupel "people, population, crowd; mankind, humanity," from Latin populus "a people, nation; body of citizens; a multitude, crowd, throng," of unknown origin, possibly from Etruscan. The Latin word also is the source of Spanish pueblo, Italian popolo. In English, it displaced native folk.
Meaning "body of persons comprising a community" first recorded late 13c. in Anglo-French; meaning "common people, masses" (as distinguished from the nobility) first recorded c.1300 in Anglo-French. Meaning "one's own tribe, group, etc." is from late 14c. The word was adopted after c.1920 by Communist totalitarian states to give a spurious sense of populism to their governments. Legal phrase The People vs., in U.S. cases of prosecution under certain laws, dates from 1801. People of the Book "those whose religion entails adherence to a book of divine revelation (1834) translates Arabic Ahl al-Kitab.
late 15c. (intransitive), c.1500 (transitive), from people (n.), or else from Middle French peupler, from Old French peuple. Related: Peopled; peopling.
Idioms and Phrases with peoples
In addition to the idiom beginning with people