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 The word “groovy” was popular in the 1960s but it's outdated now.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

Server Trudy Ward said one of the most popular dishes is the CBLT, one of four BLTs on the menu. Shonda Talerico Dudlicek, Elgin Courier-News, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Grumpy Goat Tavern in Elgin," 6 July 2018 The power of fentanyl During the last five years of Niki’s life, fentanyl became increasingly popular in Indiana and across the country, either on its own or mixed with heroin. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "'Bodies can't take it': Fentanyl involved in nearly half of drug overdose deaths," 2 July 2018 The church has a tradition that's not as popular as the Latin tradition of many Catholic churches, according to the church's pastor. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Ukrainian Catholic tradition to be celebrated at next Detroit Mass Mob," 13 July 2018 Company officials are hoping the new location is just as popular with area families. Jennie Key, Cincinnati.com, "Lots of options: West Siders have eat-out options and more are coming," 13 July 2018 This casual place has a pleasant patio and is popular for breakfast and lunch. Christopher Reynolds, latimes.com, "Sitting in the palm of nature: The unique energy — and performances — of Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre," 12 July 2018 Meanwhile, Beyonce’s dermatologist Harold Lancer told THR that liposuction is the number one cosmetic procedure, adding that big butts are less popular now. Lifted nose tips, Lancer added, are also a new trend. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Vaginal Rejuvenation Is the Latest Cosmetic Trend to Hit Hollywood," 12 July 2018 That illustrates the unusual dynamics of the Chinese market: In contrast to emerging destinations like Indonesia that are popular with foreign investors, it is overwhelmingly dominated by local buyers. Mike Bird, WSJ, "China’s Bonds Buck the Emerging-Market Trend," 12 July 2018 Tex-Mex restaurants are popular, but patrons want prices kept low. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "Hey, Bud: The search for the hottest salsa ends on North Main Street," 11 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

11 Sep 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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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