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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 There are generations of people in Coral Springs who know Larry’s Ice Cream, an eatery that’s been there since 1986. Rod Stafford Hagwood, Sun Sentinel, 16 May 2022 Millions of people worldwide suffer from some form of limb dysfunction, such as paralysis or loss of feeling. Sliman Bensmaia, Scientific American, 16 May 2022 These types of requests can stunt the ability of people to use social media platforms to facilitate social and political change, experts say. Gerry Shih, Washington Post, 16 May 2022 Thousands of people were shopping at the market 14 miles north of Houston's downtown when the shooting began around 1 p.m. Sunday, Gonzalez tweeted. CBS News, 16 May 2022 Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said thousands of people may have been in and around the market Sunday. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 16 May 2022 An uptick in Arkansas' new coronavirus cases continued on Monday as the reported number of people who were hospitalized in the state with covid-19 rose back up to its highest level in almost a week. Andy Davis, Arkansas Online, 16 May 2022 However, many experts are skeptical of the official figures, with few believing that a country of around 25 million people had been spared until now by a virus that has infected millions worldwide. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 16 May 2022 Officials said an unspecified number of people had tested positive for the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Landon Mion, Fox News, 16 May 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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near people

peony red

people

people's bank

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for people

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“People.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/people. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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