people

1 of 2

noun

peo·​ple ˈpē-pəl How to pronounce people (audio)
plural people
1
plural : human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by a common interest
2
plural : human beings, persons
often used in compounds instead of persons
salespeople
often used attributively
people skills
3
plural : the members of a family or kinship
4
plural : the mass of a community as distinguished from a special class
disputes between the people and the nobles
often used by Communists to distinguish Communists from other people
5
plural peoples : a body of persons that are united by a common culture, tradition, or sense of kinship, that typically have common language, institutions, and beliefs, and that often constitute a politically organized group
6
: lower animals usually of a specified kind or situation
7
: the body of enfranchised citizens of a state
peopleless adjective

people

2 of 2

verb

peopled; peopling ˈpē-p(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce people (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to supply or fill with people
2
: to dwell in : inhabit

Examples of people in a Sentence

Noun People can be really cruel sometimes. People think the coach should be fired. She tends to annoy people. People say it's impossible, but I'm still going to try. a book for young people a people who migrated across the Bering Strait the native peoples of Mexico Verb a science-fiction novel about a mission to people Mars See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Four Minutes Of Madness As well as being home to almost four million people—including Indianapolis—Indiana will be the final place on the path where four minutes of totality is possible. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 18 Feb. 2024 Speaking of seeing through the gloom, here’s one heartening finding in that otherwise dismal poll: The attitude of young people. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 18 Feb. 2024 The fighting has killed more than 28,900 people in Gaza, the Health Ministry there says, and forced more than 80 percent of the survivors from their homes. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2024 The funeral, which drew well over 1,000 people, sparked outrage after the funeral was focused on praying for transgender rights and access to gender-affirming health care. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 18 Feb. 2024 Israel's air and ground offensive was triggered by the Oct. 7 attack that killed some 1,200 people in Israel and took 250 others hostage. Wafaa Shurafa and Bassem Mroue The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 18 Feb. 2024 The catchphrase seems to embody how most people feel about their trusty sidekick that doesn’t leave their sight. Taylor Nicioli, CNN, 18 Feb. 2024 The ultra-wide camera does a good job of fixing fish-eye distortion for inanimate objects, but people on the edge of the frame sometimes show stretching. PCMAG, 6 Feb. 2024 What to know about avalanches Avalanches happen quickly and catch people by surprise. Brooke Baitinger, Idaho Statesman, 6 Feb. 2024
Verb
Artist Paul Deo’s work is peopled with a galaxy of Black stars –limitless luminaries in politics, entertainment, and resistance. Ken Makin, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Feb. 2024 Knitting together so many divergent themes, Troll Knoll has its own mythology, peopled by Morris with Far Western Rinkydinks and Wackerbacks. Debbie Arrington, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 Instead of Iron Man or the Hulk, Bonelli’s back catalog features tales peopled with human characters. Boris Sollazzo, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Dec. 2023 For all their opacity, Whistler’s street scenes are alive, peopled with crowds at a bazaar or peering in windows. Angelica Aboulhosn, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Dec. 2023 Mongolia, in the international cinematic imagination, tends to be largely defined by the rugged lyricism of its rural landscapes, peopled by grizzled nomads and eagle hunters, and of course, celebrated as the birthplace of conquering warlord Genghis Khan. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 6 Sep. 2023 Under existing rules, the country that people first land in must take responsibility for them. Lorne Cook, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Apr. 2023 Her narrative is peopled with physicians and psychologists heartlessly and casually breaching their professional responsibilities. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2023 One is peopled by characters who know about Peggy Jo and her exploits, including a waitress who knew Peggy Jo as a regular. Chris Vognar, Chron, 1 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'people.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English peple, from Anglo-French pople, peple, peuple, from Latin populus

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French popler, poeplier, from pople

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of people was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near people

Cite this Entry

“People.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/people. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

people

1 of 2 noun
peo·​ple ˈpē-pəl How to pronounce people (audio)
plural people
1
plural : human beings, persons
often used in compounds instead of persons
salespeople
2
plural : the members of a family : kindred
3
plural : the mass of a community as distinguished from a special class
4
plural peoples : a body of persons united by a common culture, tradition, or sense of kinship, and usually language
5
: the body of voters of a state

people

2 of 2 verb
peopled; peopling ˈpē-p(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce people (audio)
1
: to supply or fill with people
2

More from Merriam-Webster on people

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!