pop·​u·​lar | \ ˈpä-pyə-lər How to pronounce popular (audio) \

Definition of popular

1 : of or relating to the general public
2 : suitable to the majority: such as
a : adapted to or indicative of the understanding and taste of the majority a popular history of the war
b : suited to the means of the majority : inexpensive sold at popular prices
3 : frequently encountered or widely accepted a popular theory
4 : commonly liked or approved a very popular girl

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Other Words from popular

popularly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of popular in a Sentence

They have names that were popular a century ago. He is a popular guy in school. Spicy foods have become increasingly popular. That is a very popular misconception. The word “groovy” was popular in the 1960s but it's outdated now. Her theories are popular among social scientists. a popular history of physics
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Recent Examples on the Web Tokyo Disneyland is among the most popular locations for the celebration, with hundreds of participants greeted by Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Japan honors young adults on Coming of Age Day," 13 Jan. 2020 Some of the most popular videos uploaded by YouTube megahit Ryan’s World (then Ryan’s Toy Review) were of science experiments conducted by then 3-year-old Ryan. Kelly Kessler, Wired, "Streaming Giants Need Shows Like Schoolhouse Rock," 13 Jan. 2020 In Portland, the most popular ADUs are living spaces for elderly relatives, adult children and family friends, and as income-producing apartments to rent (36 percent each), according to the Pro.com survey. oregonlive, "Permits for in-law flats and other ADUs are down but interest remains high," 12 Jan. 2020 Tenor was the most popular instrument at that time to get work. Nathaniel Friedman, The New Yorker, "“If You’re in the Song, Keep on Playing”: An Interview With Pharoah Sanders," 12 Jan. 2020 Error 0: The homes offer a variety of the most popular features and amenities on the market today. Houston Chronicle, "HistoryMaker partners with local vendors on GHBA Benefit home," 11 Jan. 2020 And the 737 Max has been its most popular airplane launch. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Boeing 737 Max parts supplier laying off 2,800 employees," 10 Jan. 2020 The iconic Detroit rocker and his longtime label Capitol Records have at last launched his official artist channel on YouTube, the video hosting service that has become the most popular online music platform. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Bob Seger at last launches an official YouTube channel, debuts 'Night Moves' lyric video," 10 Jan. 2020 Beautyberry, duh The most popular form is Helleborus xhybridus which represents a bit of Heinz 57 mixture of species that are all quite similar. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Got the winter blues? Cheer up with these colorful winter-blooming plants for your garden," 10 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'popular.' 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 popular

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for popular

Latin popularis, from populus the people, a people

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Time Traveler for popular

Time Traveler

The first known use of popular was in 1548

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Statistics for popular

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Popular.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/popular. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for popular


How to pronounce popular (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of popular

: 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


pop·​u·​lar | \ ˈpä-pyə-lər How to pronounce popular (audio) \

Kids Definition of popular

1 : of or relating to most of the people in a country or area the popular vote popular culture
2 : enjoyed or approved by many people a popular game
3 : frequently encountered or widely accepted popular opinion

Other Words from popular

popularly adverb a popularly held belief



Legal Definition of popular

1 : of or relating to the general public
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on popular

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for popular

Spanish Central: Translation of popular

Nglish: Translation of popular for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of popular for Arabic Speakers

Comments on popular

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


dull or mediocre

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