populace

noun
pop·​u·​lace | \ˈpä-pyə-ləs \

Definition of populace 

1 : the common people : masses

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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

To the wider populace, the notion sounds lax; prison isn’t a vacation. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Inside a Radical Experiment to Transform the Lives of Incarcerated Women," 22 Aug. 2018 Honduras was then the most violent country in the world, a situation its government blamed on the heavily tattooed gang members terrifying the populace. Rachel Kleinfeld, WSJ, "The Violence Driving Migration Isn’t Just Gangs," 9 Nov. 2018 Neither the government nor Labour, the main opposition party, wants a new referendum, and pro-Europeans face many obstacles, not least drumming up interest among a weary or indifferent populace. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "Could the U.K. Vote Again on Brexit? The Prospects Are Rising," 21 Apr. 2018 The idea would be to create an ecological bridge between old-growth and second-growth stands and develop a passion among the entire populace for the growing forest and its remarkable carbon-capturing properties. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "A plea to save California’s treasured coast redwoods, giant sequoias," 18 Apr. 2018 In Strong’s assured performance, the aristocratic, apolitical Lysistrata cycles through grief, rage, rebellion and transcendence as her protest movement unites Athens’ bifurcated female populace — first her fellow housewives and then the courtesans. Philip Brandes, latimes.com, "In 'Lysistrata Unbound,' the women go to war against war," 22 June 2018 This legislative session could produce joy among the populace. Author: Charles Wohlforth | Opinion, Anchorage Daily News, "Walker should run as a Democrat or step aside for Begich," 7 Feb. 2018 Half the populace blames demonstrations by the Black Defense Alliance for stirring up hatred for local law enforcement after a traffic-stop fatality. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "Hate Thy Neighbor. Or Maybe Just Kill Him.," 6 July 2018 Conservatives made the gargantuan mistake of seeing Hitler as a useful tool for rousing the populace. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "How American Racism Influenced Hitler," 23 Apr. 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for populace

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for populace

The first known use of populace was in 1572

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More Definitions for populace

populace

noun

English Language Learners Definition of populace

: the people who live in a country or area

populace

noun
pop·​u·​lace | \ˈpä-pyə-ləs \

Kids Definition of populace

1 : the common people

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on populace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for populace

Spanish Central: Translation of populace

Nglish: Translation of populace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of populace for Arabic Speakers

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