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 The word “groovy” was popular in the 1960s but it's outdated now.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 Polls suggest that could be a tough fight for Republicans, as many of the bill’s provisions are widely popular. New York Times, "Republicans Struggle to Derail Increasingly Popular Stimulus Package," 19 Feb. 2021 Polls suggest that could be a tough fight for Republicans, as many of the bill’s provisions are widely popular. Emily Cochrane, BostonGlobe.com, "Republicans struggle to halt increasingly popular $1.9 trillion economic rescue package," 19 Feb. 2021 These handy devices are especially popular in places that incur heavy snowfall throughout the winter. Rebecca Carhart, Better Homes & Gardens, "The 7 Best Roof Rakes for Snow Removal, According to Customer Reviews," 19 Feb. 2021 Microdosing, which is also popular as a recreational activity among tech types, provides a different experience than the intense psychedelic journey of an LSD trip. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Can LSD cure our pandemic anxiety? MindMed is spending big to find out," 18 Feb. 2021 Oh, and our wet/dry vac is quite popular for cleaning up after ruptured pipes. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "From a broken furnace to no water, it’s one thing after another. Can you relate?," 18 Feb. 2021 In fact, the home shopping powerhouse is so popular, even big-name Hollywood stars have launched exclusive collections with the company. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "10 of the most popular products from celebrity QVC lines," 18 Feb. 2021 American fife and drum blues has been popular in the hill country of Mississippi and Tennessee for decades. Lici Beveridge, USA Today, "Got the blues? Listen to these 25 essential Mississippi Delta blues songs," 17 Feb. 2021 Before starting the Hype House, Thomas was very popular on YouTube, posting vlogs as well as reactions to other YouTuber drama. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About TikTok Star Thomas Petrou," 16 Feb. 2021

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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Popular.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/popular. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for popular



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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