pop·​u·​lace | \ ˈpä-pyə-ləs How to pronounce populace (audio) \

Definition of populace

1 : the common people : masses

Did you know?

Populace is usually used to refer to all the people of a country. Thus, we're often told that an educated and informed populace is essential for a healthy American democracy. Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous radio "Fireside Chats" informed and reassured the American populace in the 1930s as we struggled through the Great Depression. We often hear about what "the general populace" is thinking or doing, but generalizing about something so huge can be tricky.

Examples of populace in a Sentence

The populace has suffered greatly. high officials awkwardly mingling with the general populace
Recent Examples on the Web Worse, the party could have faced a populace that directly blamed it for the outbreak—with good reason. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 9 Sep. 2022 For years, the water authority planned for a booming, thirsty populace whose enormous demand for water would justify and help offset the cost of such ambitious projects. Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Aug. 2022 Credit the action-comedy's longevity with its gleefully cynical portrait of nationalism and a war-hungry populace, which resonated that much more in the years following 9/11 and the Iraq War. Randall Colburn, EW.com, 12 July 2022 The entire populace of Crema, his northern Italian town birthplace, could fit inside Comerica Park with seats to spare. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, 3 July 2022 Now that the government has taken some responsibility for it, the state has a chance to regain trust of the populace. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Aug. 2022 Will those that do subscribe be a wealthy-skewing demographic that might be attractive to advertisers but excludes a big portion of the populace? Howard Homonoff, Forbes, 8 June 2022 There was, in fact, quite a showdown between the authorities and a significant segment of the populace, and the parliamentary vote strengthened an already active anti-vax movement. Justin E. H. Smith, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 The Finnish parliament voted 188 to 8 last week to pursue membership in NATO, and polls say 75% of the populace likes the idea. Neal Rubin, Detroit Free Press, 22 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of populace

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for populace

Middle French, from Italian popolaccio rabble, augmentative of popolo the people, from Latin populus

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The first known use of populace was in 1572

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Populace.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/populace. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for populace


pop·​u·​lace | \ ˈpä-pyə-ləs How to pronounce populace (audio) \

Kids Definition of populace

1 : the common people
2 : the people who live in a country or area : population

More from Merriam-Webster on populace

Nglish: Translation of populace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of populace for Arabic Speakers


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