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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for poplar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The trees they choose are ordinarily the poplar, which grow on the banks of the water.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
  • He is now safe in the poplar grove, and his uncle gives up the charge.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • Then a discussion arose as to how one ought to climb a poplar.

  • It grows on wood and its favorite hosts are the poplar and the birch.

  • Ahmeek selected a poplar to his liking, not far from the bank of the stream.

  • He was still as lean and tall as a Lombardy poplar, this handsome old Roman.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • The walk that they are going in is bordered by a row of poplar trees.

    Rollo on the Rhine

    Jacob Abbott
  • There be yet that condemn the pruning of this poplar, as hindring their growth.

    Sylva, Vol. 1 (of 2) John Evelyn
  • The poplar tree is infested by an other species of Saperda (S. calcarata).

    Our Common Insects Alpheus Spring Packard
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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