adjective pop·u·lar \ˈpä-pyə-lər\

Definition of popular

  1. 1 :  of or relating to the general public

  2. 2 :  suitable to the majority: such asa :  adapted to or indicative of the understanding and taste of the majority a popular history of the warb :  suited to the means of the majority :  inexpensive sold at popular prices

  3. 3 :  frequently encountered or widely accepted a popular theory

  4. 4 :  commonly liked or approved a very popular girl



Examples of popular in a sentence

  1. They have names that were popular a century ago.

  2. He is a popular guy in school.

  3. Spicy foods have become increasingly popular.

  4. That is a very popular misconception.

  5. The word groovy was popular in the 1960s but it's outdated now.

  6. Her theories are popular among social scientists.

  7. a popular history of physics

Origin and Etymology of popular

Latin popularis, from populus the people, a people

First Known Use: 1548

Synonym Discussion of popular

common, ordinary, plain, familiar, popular, vulgar mean generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual. common implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence a common error lacked common honesty and may additionally suggest inferiority or coarseness. common manners ordinary stresses conformance in quality or kind with the regular order of things. an ordinary pleasant summer day a very ordinary sort of man plain is likely to suggest homely simplicity. plain hard-working people familiar stresses the fact of being generally known and easily recognized. a familiar melody popular applies to what is accepted by or prevalent among people in general sometimes in contrast to upper classes or special groups. a writer of popular romances vulgar, otherwise similar to popular, is likely to carry derogatory connotations (as of inferiority or coarseness). souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar taste

POPULAR Defined for English Language Learners


adjective pop·u·lar \ˈpä-pyə-lər\

Definition of popular for English Language Learners

  • : liked or enjoyed by many people

  • : accepted, followed, used, or done by many people

  • : of, relating to, or coming from most of the people in a country, society, or group

POPULAR Defined for Kids


adjective pop·u·lar \ˈpä-pyə-lər\

Definition of popular for Students

  1. 1 :  of or relating to most of the people in a country or area the popular vote popular culture

  2. 2 :  enjoyed or approved by many people a popular game

  3. 3 :  frequently encountered or widely accepted popular opinion


adverb a popularly held belief

Word Root of popular

The Latin word populus, meaning “people,” gives us the root popul. Words from the Latin populus have something to do with people. A population is the group of people living in a particular place. Anything popular is common among or enjoyed by many people. A place that is populous has many people living in it.

Law Dictionary


adjective pop·u·lar

Legal Definition of popular

  1. 1 :  of or relating to the general public

  2. 2a :  of, relating to, or by the people (as of a nation or state) as a whole as distinguished from a specific class or group b :  based on or alleged to be based on the will of the people

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up popular? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trip made at another's expense

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