pop·u·lous | \ ˈpä-pyə-ləs \

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

Meanwhile, over in Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, there are slightly more people, but with that comes other difficulties. Billboard, "The Down Underdogs: Australian Alternative Artists on Making it Big in America and at Home," 13 July 2018 Through the end of June, police in the 15 most populous Bay Area cities recorded 84 killings, down from 125 in the same period in 2017, according to a Chronicle analysis. Evan Sernoffsky, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area homicides plunge to historic lows in first half of 2018," 6 July 2018 Kaliningrad is only the 40th most populous city in Russia and has no great soccer pedigree; local team FC Baltika is outside of the top tier Russian Premier League. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Kaliningrad is the World Cup (and Russia's) weirdest city," 19 June 2018 None of the other 15 most populous cities changed rankings. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Census: Indianapolis is no longer the 15th-most populous U.S. city. This city passed us.," 29 May 2018 ParkScore only analyzes data for the 100 most populous cities, representing 65 million Americans. David Johnson, Time, "These Cities Have the Best Public Park Systems in the Country," 25 May 2018 The river this summer is expected to dry as far north as Albuquerque, New Mexico’s most populous city. Washington Post, "Experts: ‘Alarming’ drought conditions hit US Southwest," 23 May 2018 The river this summer is expected to dry as far north as Albuquerque, New Mexico's most populous city. Susan Montoya Bryan, Fox News, "Drought on tap to intensify over US Southwest," 23 May 2018 Schlossberg, a white-collar white guy with an eponymous law practice in America's most populous city, wasn't hard to identify. Jay Willis, GQ, "Racist Lawyer Aaron Schlossberg Did This All to Himself," 19 May 2018

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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Last Updated

24 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for populous

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

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English Language Learners Definition of populous

: having a large population


pop·u·lous | \ ˈpä-pyə-ləs \

Kids Definition of populous

: having a large population a populous city

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More from Merriam-Webster on 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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