[ pop-ler ]

  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.

  1. any of various similar trees, as the tulip tree.

  2. the wood of any such tree.

Origin of poplar

1350–1400; Middle English popler(e), variant of populer, equivalent to Middle English, Old English populpopple2 (<Latin pōpulus poplar) + -er-er2; suffix apparently added on model of Middle French pouplier, equivalent to pouple poplar + -ier-ier2

Other words from poplar

  • poplared, adjective

Words that may be confused with poplar

Words Nearby poplar

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use poplar in a sentence

  • The poplar trees that line the avenues between the cellblocks are bare.

    My Visit To Hell | Christopher Buckley | January 30, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • A little way beyond the poplar-grove Piegan drew rein, and held up one hand.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • Far away a gap in the poplar trees showed a German observation balloon, a tiny dot against the sky.

    The Amazing Interlude | Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • They climbed the broken staircase and stared toward the break in the poplar trees, from the roofless floor above.

    The Amazing Interlude | Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Small poplar trees were quickly felled in the neighboring forest, and their branches lopped off.

  • Having reached this spot, they lost no time in cutting slender poles of poplar and attaching the lines.

British Dictionary definitions for poplar


/ (ˈpɒplə) /

  1. 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

  2. any of various trees resembling the true poplars, such as the tulip tree

  1. the wood of any of these trees

Origin of poplar

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