Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

popular

play
adjective pop·u·lar \ˈpä-pyə-lər\

Simple Definition of popular

  • : liked or enjoyed by many people

  • : accepted, followed, used, or done by many people

  • : of, relating to, or coming from most of the people in a country, society, or group

Full Definition of popular

  1. 1 :  of or relating to the general public

  2. 2 :  suitable to the majority: as a :  adapted to or indicative of the understanding and taste of the majority <a popular history of the war> b :  suited to the means of the majority :  inexpensive <sold at popular prices>

  3. 3 :  frequently encountered or widely accepted <a popular theory>

  4. 4 :  commonly liked or approved <a very popular girl>

pop·u·lar·ly adverb

Examples of popular

  1. They have names that were popular a century ago.

  2. He is a popular guy in school.

  3. Spicy foods have become increasingly popular.

  4. That is a very popular misconception.

  5. The word groovy was popular in the 1960s but it's outdated now.

  6. Her theories are popular among social scientists.

  7. a popular history of physics



Origin of popular

Latin popularis, from populus the people, a people


First Known Use: 1548

Synonym Discussion of popular

common, ordinary, plain, familiar, popular, vulgar mean generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual. common implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence <a common error> <lacked common honesty> and may additionally suggest inferiority or coarseness <common manners>. ordinary stresses conformance in quality or kind with the regular order of things <an ordinary pleasant summer day> <a very ordinary sort of man>. plain is likely to suggest homely simplicity <plain hard-working people>. familiar stresses the fact of being generally known and easily recognized <a familiar melody>. popular applies to what is accepted by or prevalent among people in general sometimes in contrast to upper classes or special groups <a writer of popular romances>. vulgar, otherwise similar to popular, is likely to carry derogatory connotations (as of inferiority or coarseness) <souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar taste>.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up popular? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet spindrift pince-nez kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ