pop·​u·​lar | \ˈpä-pyə-lər \

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 The word “groovy” was popular in the 1960s but it's outdated now.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

The impact of the change is being felt most profoundly in certain areas of the state, including Door County, with just three wardens, more miles of coastline than any other county in the U.S. and several popular state parks. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin warden shortage and changes in responsibilities raise concerns," 14 July 2018 Hamden’s Sleeping Giant, one of the state’s most popular inland parks, is now expected to remain closed throughout the summer. Gregory B. Hladky, courant.com, "'Unfortunately, Mother Nature Took It Away.' Sleeping Giant State Park Remains Unrecognizable As Storm Cleanup Continues," 11 July 2018 Still, aficionados say there are corners of even the most popular parks that are barely explored. David Swanson, latimes.com, "How to cope with the crowds at the West's busiest national parks," 1 July 2018 And the Raspberry Pi is a super-popular lineup of enthusiast boards with tons of official and community support. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: One-upping the NES Classic Edition with the Raspberry Pi 3 and RetroPie," 30 June 2018 The super-popular bottoms are back in stock in two neutral shades, black and ink, a dark navy. Kathleen Felton, Health.com, "The Bestselling Black Leggings Everyone Is Obsessed With Are Finally Back in Stock," 29 June 2018 The Free Press reported in May that a splash pad, a zocalo — or traditional Mexican public space — and other amenities are coming to the popular Clark Park in southwest Detroit, as part of a greater transformation of the West Vernor corridor. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit seeking developer for housing development near train station," 28 June 2018 Orange County deputies on Friday arrested a suspect in the shooting that injured a man at an apartment complex popular with UCF students. Michael Williams, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deputies arrest suspect in shooting at UCF-area apartment," 13 July 2018 These items are popular with tourists, but also with many Russians. Eduardo Neret, Fox News, "Trump's leadership style - and his likeness - popular with Russians," 12 July 2018

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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Statistics for popular

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for popular

The first known use of popular was in 1548

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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 \

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).


playful or foolish behavior

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