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

Supporters of dividing California argue the nation's most populous state has become ungovernable because of its size, wealth disparities and geographic diversity. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "'Cal 3' backer urges court to dismiss lawsuit opposing California break-up plan," 14 July 2018 The slow-moving storm has brought catastrophic flooding to Texas, killed at least nine people, led to mass evacuations and paralyzed Houston, the fourth most-populous U.S. city. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Dam gates, dredging are major topics at county flood bond meeting in Kingwood," 12 July 2018 Slowly but surely, the country’s eighth-most-populous state is becoming more purple. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Leaked recordings of Ga. governor candidate highlight why people mistrust politicians," 11 July 2018 The world’s two most-populous nations have had a tense history, marked by border disputes and China’s growing economic influence in South Asia. Karthikeyan Sundaram, Bloomberg.com, "Trump's Trade War Pushes China Closer to Old Foe India," 28 June 2018 Iceland is the least-populous country ever at soccer's showcase with just 350,000. Ronald Blum, chicagotribune.com, "Mexico, Iceland, England compete for Americans' support in World Cup," 23 June 2018 In the station’s heyday, from the 1920s to the '50s, Detroit was the fourth-most populous city in the US, fed by influxes of immigrants who came to work for the mighty auto industry that called the city home. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Why Ford Is Buying Detroit’s Derelict Train Station," 19 June 2018 Buy Photo The hungry haunt Philadelphia. Because it isn’t written on the body, hunger is not readily recognized here, the poorest of the ten most-populous cities in America, with a poverty rate of 26 percent. Alfred Lubrano, Philly.com, "Hunger haunts Philly. These are the voices of its pain," 21 May 2018 Both also agreed that the race's outcome will have considerable significance in how the state's second-most populous county is governed. Dana Tims, OregonLive.com, "A stunning defeat, surprise run-off define Washington County commission races," 16 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

19 Oct 2018

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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

: 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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