full of residents or inhabitants, as a region; heavily populated.
jammed or crowded with people: There's no more populous place than Times Square on New Year's Eve.
forming or comprising a large number or quantity: Because of epidemics the tribes are not nearly so populous as they once were.

Origin of populous

1400–50; late Middle English populus < Latin populōsus. See people, -ous
Related formspop·u·lous·ly, adverbpop·u·lous·ness, nounnon·pop·u·lous, adjectivenon·pop·u·lous·ly, adverbnon·pop·u·lous·ness, nouno·ver·pop·u·lous, adjectiveo·ver·pop·u·lous·ly, adverbo·ver·pop·u·lous·ness, nounun·pop·u·lous, adjectiveun·pop·u·lous·ly, adverbun·pop·u·lous·ness, noun
Can be confusedpopulace population populous

Synonyms for populous

2. swarming, packed, teeming.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for populous

Contemporary Examples of populous

Historical Examples of populous

  • He found himself an outcast in the midst of the populous camp.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • Even the Esmeralda Mountains were no longer roamed by populous herds.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • The convent was situated in the most populous part of Madrid.

  • Yes, it was a far cry from the African jungles to populous Manhattan.

    The Mind Master

    Arthur J. Burks

  • From this place he marched two stages—ten parasangs—to Tyriaeum, a populous city.



British Dictionary definitions for populous



containing many inhabitants; abundantly populated
Derived Formspopulously, adverbpopulousness, noun

Word Origin for populous

C15: from Late Latin populōsus
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 populous

early 15c., from post-classical Latin populosus "full of people, populous," from populus "people" (see people (n.)). Related: Populousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper