people

noun
peo·​ple | \ ˈpē-pəl How to pronounce people (audio) \
plural people

Definition of people

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

people

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

Definition of people (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Other Words from people

Noun

peopleless \ ˈpē-​pə(l)-​ləs How to pronounce people (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for people

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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 Many of the people in the line lost their jobs after the collapse. New York Times, 8 Aug. 2022 Now, Eckersley has decided it’s time to focus on a different role, and to make sure two people in particular will know him well. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Aug. 2022 In the resort city, people in high-risk areas aren’t allowed to leave their homes and hotels, while those in mid-risk areas can only leave for Covid testing or to accept deliveries. Karen Hao, WSJ, 8 Aug. 2022 Arbery's killing on Feb. 23, 2020, became part of a larger national reckoning over racial injustice and killings of unarmed Black people including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky. CBS News, 8 Aug. 2022 Other parts of the world have their own systems for naming, and use names that are familiar to people in that part of the world. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 One of the largest challenges is reaching people in more remote parts of the county. Jessica Tezak, Washington Post, 8 Aug. 2022 The American Community Survey provides the most comprehensive data on how people in the U.S. live by asking questions about commuting times, internet access, family life, income, education levels, disabilities, military service and employment. Mike Schneider, ajc, 8 Aug. 2022 Security camera footage released by NYPD Crime Stoppers shows a man in a white T-shirt and black hat peering through the glass door of Rocco's Jewelry in the Bronx before holding the door open and letting three people in masks run in. Benjamin Schiller, CNN, 7 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Given his years dancing alongside them as a New York City Ballet member, choreographer Justin Peck knows the men and women who people his art especially well. Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2021 The Copenhagen Trilogy, by contrast, is fastidiously unjudgmental toward those who people it, including its author, though an autobiographical account is an ideal vehicle of complaint. Deborah Eisenberg, The New York Review of Books, 9 Mar. 2021 Protests have mostly been peopled by the young, those on college campuses and those who can take a day off to vent without bearing much consequence. Sarah Haselhorst, Cincinnati.com, 2 June 2020 In Maricopa County, 196 peopled are thought to have died from heat exposure last summer, up from 182 the year before. Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2020 The upper part of the valley is well peopled, and many of the hills are cultivated high up. Scientific American, 20 Apr. 2020 Inside, the small, low-ceilinged rooms are peopled with pilgrims. Roxana Robinson, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2020 Most of the floors had at least a few offices with the lights on, at least some of them peopled with executives trying to figure out what to do now. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, 20 Mar. 2020 Both writers invented a place and, in novel after novel, peopled it with the same characters. Edmund White, Harper's magazine, 6 Jan. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'people.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of people

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for people

Noun

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

Verb

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

Learn More About people

Time Traveler for people

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near people

peony red

people

people's bank

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Statistics for people

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“People.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/people. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for people

people

noun
peo·​ple | \ ˈpē-pəl How to pronounce people (audio) \
plural people or peoples

Kids Definition of people

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : all persons considered together "Love makes people act crazy."— Pam Zollman, Don't Bug Me
2 : a group of human beings who have something in common young people the people of Montana
Hint: The word people is often used in compounds instead of persons. salespeople
3 : a body of persons making up a race, tribe, or nation the peoples of Asia

people

verb
peopled; peopling

Kids Definition of people (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fill with human beings or a certain type of human beings … her little world was peopled with imaginary friends …— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
2 : to dwell on or in Farmers people this part of the state.

More from Merriam-Webster on people

Nglish: Translation of people for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of people for Arabic Speakers

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