regarded with favor, approval, or affection by people in general: a popular preacher.
regarded with favor, approval, or affection by an acquaintance or acquaintances: He's not very popular with me just now.
of, relating to, or representing the people, especially the common people: popular discontent.
of the people as a whole, especially of all citizens of a nation or state qualified to participate in an election: popular suffrage; the popular vote; popular representation.
prevailing among the people generally: a popular superstition.
suited to or intended for the general masses of people: popular music.
adapted to the ordinary intelligence or taste: popular lectures on science.
suited to the means of ordinary people; not expensive: popular prices on all tickets.
Populāris is a derivative of the noun populus “a human community, nation, the members of a society,” and in Rome “the entire people exercising its full legislative and judicial authority” (another weighty word). It is surprising that there is no certain etymology for populus. The most likely of several possible etymologies derives populus from Etruscan puplu (Etruscan, an extinct ancient language, is the “go to” language for Latin etymological problems); puplu appears in the name of the Etruscan town Pupluna ( Populōnia in Latin). For good measure, Rōma, the name of the city, is named after an Etruscan family, as are three of Rome’s seven hills.
The current, most familiar sense of popular , “regarded with favor, approval, or affection by many people,” dates from the very early 17th century.
- an·ti·pop·u·lar, adjective
- non·pop·u·lar, adjective
- o·ver·pop·u·lar, adjective
- pseu·do·pop·u·lar, adjective
- qua·si-pop·u·lar, adjective
- sem·i·pop·u·lar, adjective
- poplar, popular
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use popular in a sentence
Six miles later, we arrived at Jackson Falls, one of the most popular rock-climbing venues in Illinois.A day’s drive from Chicago, exploring a very different Illinois | Carson Vaughan | February 12, 2021 | Washington Post
You can also see which regions it is more or less popular in.A comprehensive guide on using Google Trends for keyword research | Aayush Gupta | February 12, 2021 | Search Engine Watch
Bing Search is testing a new section named “explore further” that shows you recommended queries and sites based on “your activity and what’s popular.”Is Google moving toward being search marketing’s point of singularity: Thursday’s daily brief | Carolyn Lyden | February 11, 2021 | Search Engine Land
There’s a popular Swedish fitness craze that involves collecting trash, called “plogging,” a mix of jogging and “plocka upp” — Swedish for pick up.The ‘garbage guy’ walks 12 miles a day around D.C. picking up trash: ‘I’ll pick up pretty much anything.’ | Sydney Page | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Intimate knowledge of people and places made arrieros effective and popular political leaders in the coastal region.The problem of environmental racism in Mexico today is rooted in history | Jayson Porter | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
The simple, awful truth is that free speech has never been particularly popular in America.
Charles “Father” Coughlin, a raving anti-Semite, was one of the most popular radio hosts in the country.Why Was Bess Myerson the First and Last Jewish Miss America? | Emily Shire | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
While this deferred action is controversial in the United States, in Mexico, what Obama did is universally popular.Why Mexicans Are Enraged by Obama’s Big Tuesday Meeting | Ruben Navarrette Jr. | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
“He was a brave field commander and an expert in intelligence, and in organizing popular and tribal forces,” said the eulogist.What an Iranian Funeral Tells Us About the Wars in Iraq | IranWire | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Whether he gets his full due in popular culture remains to be seen.Ed Brooke: The Senate's Civil Rights Pioneer and Prophet of a Post-Racial America | John Avlon | January 4, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
I know that in putting this before you I challenge some of the most popular affectations of cultivated people.The Salvaging Of Civilisation | H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
As a good-looking young bachelor, though a detrimental, he had been very popular.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
In France the habit of snuffing was the most popular mode and to this day the custom is more general than elsewhere.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
This work describes the fops and men of fashion of its time, and shows how popular the custom of tobacco taking had become.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
He was for many years judge of a court in Connecticut, and is known as the author of the popular poem, McFingal.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
British Dictionary definitions for popular
appealing to the general public; widely favoured or admired
favoured by an individual or limited group: I'm not very popular with her
connected with, representing, or prevailing among the general public; common: popular discontent
appealing to or comprehensible to the layman: a popular lecture on physics
(usually plural) cheap newspapers with mass circulation; the popular press: Also shortened to: pops
- popularity (ˌpɒpjʊˈlærɪtɪ), noun
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