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poplar

[pop-ler]
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noun
  1. any of the rapidly growing, salicaceous trees of the genus Populus, usually characterized by the columnar or spirelike manner of growth of its branches.
  2. the light, soft wood of any of these trees, used for pulp.
  3. any of various similar trees, as the tulip tree.
  4. the wood of any such tree.
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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 formspop·lared, adjective
Can be confusedpoplar popular
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for poplar

poplar

noun
  1. any tree of the salicaceous genus Populus, of N temperate regions, having triangular leaves, flowers borne in catkins, and light soft woodSee also aspen, balsam poplar, Lombardy poplar, white poplar
  2. any of various trees resembling the true poplars, such as the tulip tree
  3. the wood of any of these trees
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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

Word Origin and History for poplar

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper