popular

adjective pop·u·lar \ ˈpä-pyə-lər \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

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

popularly

adverb

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 The word “groovy” was popular in the 1960s but it's outdated now.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

Recent Examples of popular from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of popular

Latin popularis, from populus the people, a people

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

popular

adjective

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

popular

adjective pop·u·lar \ ˈpä-pyə-lər \

Definition of popular for Students

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

popularly

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

popular

adjective pop·u·lar

legal Definition of popular

1 :of or relating to the general public
2 a :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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