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[pop-ler] /ˈpɒp lər/
any of the rapidly growing, salicaceous trees of the genus Populus, usually characterized by the columnar or spirelike manner of growth of its branches.
the light, soft wood of any of these trees, used for pulp.
any of various similar trees, as the tulip tree.
the wood of any such tree.
Origin of poplar
1350-1400; Middle English popler(e), variant of populer, equivalent to Middle English, Old English popul popple2 (< Latin pōpulus poplar) + -er -er2; suffix apparently added on model of Middle French pouplier, equivalent to pouple poplar + -ier -ier2
Related forms
poplared, adjective
Can be confused
poplar, popular. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for poplar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Though often within a stone's throw of the street, I unremittingly avoided the old house at poplar.

    Paul Kelver Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome
  • The poplar tree is infested by an other species of Saperda (S. calcarata).

    Our Common Insects Alpheus Spring Packard
  • The margins of the stream were occasionally fringed with bushes of poplar and willow.

  • No "blasts that blow the poplar white" can cause the pine-tree to blanch.

    The Foot-path Way Bradford Torrey
  • There are some of them, a man would as soon think of putting his arm round a poplar tree, they are so hard and so stiff.

    Can You Forgive Her? Anthony Trollope
  • He put it on a green stick, poplar or willow, and stuck it in the bar.

  • Along its borders are two rows of unshorn willows, and here and there a poplar lifts its stately head.

    Nestleton Magna J. Jackson Wray
  • This was the celebrated “cotton-wood,” a species of poplar (Populus angulatus).

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • poplar and cottonwood make the best baits, but in case they cannot be obtained, use birch, willow or black cherry.

    Science of Trapping Elmer Harry Kreps
British Dictionary definitions for poplar


any tree of the salicaceous genus Populus, of N temperate regions, having triangular leaves, flowers borne in catkins, and light soft wood See also aspen, balsam poplar, Lombardy poplar, white poplar
any of various trees resembling the true poplars, such as the tulip tree
the wood of any of these trees
Word Origin
C14: from Old French poplier, from pouple, from Latin pōpulus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for poplar

mid-14c., from Anglo-French popler, from Old French poplier (13c., Modern French peulplier), from Latin populus "poplar" (with a long "o;" not the same word that produced popular), of unknown origin, possibly from a PIE tree-name root *p(y)el- (cf. Greek pelea "elm"). Italian pioppo, Spanish chopo, German pappel, Old Church Slavonic topoli all are from Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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