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[pop-yuh-leyt] /ˈpɒp yəˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), populated, populating.
to inhabit; live in; be the inhabitants of.
to furnish with inhabitants, as by colonization; people.
Origin of populate
1570-80; < Medieval Latin populātus, past participle of populāre to inhabit. See people, -ate1
Related forms
outpopulate, verb (used with object), outpopulated, outpopulating.
repopulate, verb (used with object), repopulated, repopulating.
superpopulated, adjective
underpopulate, verb (used with object), underpopulated, underpopulating.
unpopulated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for populated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It has populated the mountains and the plains of our own country.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • Third, some escapees from Ardu reached and populated the world Ardry.

    Masters of Space Edward Elmer Smith
  • Their world is not populated by men and women, but by a Unity that is Permanent.

    A Preface to Politics

    Walter Lippmann
  • On the frontiers, counties were organized and populated in a season.

    Aladdin & Co. Herbert Quick
  • He came not only after God was active, but after men and beasts had populated the world.

British Dictionary definitions for populated


verb (transitive)
(often passive) to live in; inhabit
to provide a population for; colonize or people
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin populāre to provide with inhabitants, from Latin populus people
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 populated



1610s, from Medieval Latin populatus, past participle of populare "inhabit, to people," from Latin populus "inhabitants, people, nation" (see people (n.)). Related: Populated; populating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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