pop·​u·​lous | \ ˈpä-pyə-ləs How to pronounce populous (audio) \

Definition of populous

1a : densely populated
b : having a large population
2a : numerous
b : filled to capacity

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Other Words from populous

populously adverb
populousness noun

Did You Know?

With a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, Mexico City could be called the world's second or third most populous city. And the nearby Aztec city of Tenochtitlán was one of the largest cities in the world even when Hernán Cortés arrived there in 1519. But by the time Cortés conquered the city in 1521 it wasn't nearly so populous, since European diseases had greatly reduced the population. Avoid confusing populous and populace, which are pronounced exactly the same.

Examples of populous in a Sentence

the most populous state in the U.S.

Recent Examples on the Web

In the populous suburbs west of Washington, plenty of cars still sport bumper stickers proclaiming support for Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring—Democrats all. Mark Hemingway, WSJ, "How Virginia’s Top Democrats Survived a Storm of Scandal," 10 May 2019 The entirety of the Seven Kingdoms’s medieval populous (all alive and well) were in attendance. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "From Westeros to Essos, the Game of Thrones Cast Ruled at the World Premiere," 5 Apr. 2019 Mecklenburg County, the state’s most populous, would spend about $250,000 because only a portion is included in the congressional district. Emery P. Dalesio, The Seattle Times, "APNewsBreak: Forced congressional election to top $1.2M," 29 Mar. 2019 India traditionally bought its defense tech from the Soviet Union and Russia, but recently, the hugely populous nation has been on a roll buying American military technology, including the P-8 Poseidon and AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Why There's a “New” American Fighter Called the F-21," 20 Feb. 2019 Snipes’s 15 years as supervisor of elections in Florida’s second-most-populous county (and the county with the most registered voters) have been stormy, to say the least. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Brenda Snipes says she won’t resign as Broward County election supervisor after all," 3 Dec. 2018 The economy in Africa’s most populous country is still recovering from an oil-price rout that saw prices fall from $100 per barrel in 2014. Neanda Salvaterra, WSJ, "On the Ballot in Nigeria: How to Manage Oil Money," 21 Feb. 2019 Disputes over President Donald Trump’s border wall and California’s bullet train are intensifying the feud between the White House and the nation’s most populous state. Kathleen Ronayne, The Seattle Times, "Border wall, bullet train: California vs. Trump escalates," 20 Feb. 2019 Rural companies’ main complaints focused on T-Mobile’s interactions with small telephone companies that serve less-populous areas. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "T-Mobile’s Sprint Takeover Comes Under New Attack," 13 Feb. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for populous

Middle English, from Latin populosus, from populus people

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Dictionary Entries near populous







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Statistics for populous

Last Updated

18 May 2019

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Time Traveler for populous

The first known use of populous was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for populous



English Language Learners Definition of populous

formal : having a large population


pop·​u·​lous | \ ˈpä-pyə-ləs How to pronounce populous (audio) \

Kids Definition of populous

: having a large population a populous city

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More from Merriam-Webster on populous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for populous

Spanish Central: Translation of populous

Nglish: Translation of populous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of populous for Arabic Speakers

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using a distributed computer network

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