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

Definition of populous

1a : densely populated
b : having a large population
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 69 years since China truly became India’s neighbour by grabbing Tibet, the world’s two most populous countries have played a similar game. The Economist, "Elephant v dragon How to end the perilous Indo-Chinese border spat," 18 June 2020 Stop propping up mediocre white men and grooming them for leadership while grooming the balance of the populous for service under them. Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis Star, "What prominent community members say should be done to make Indiana better for everyone," 17 June 2020 Still, Arizona, the 14th most populous state, is 20th in terms of total COVID-19 cases. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Arizona coronavirus cases pass new daily high," 17 June 2020 India and China, the world's two most populous countries, are locked in a territorial dispute along their mountainous 2,175-mile frontier. NBC News, "India says 20 soldiers killed in clash along contested border with China," 16 June 2020 Xinfadi market is the largest of its kind in Asia, sprawling over 112 hectares and supplying 80% of Beijing’s agricultural produce, as well as food to other populous northern provinces. Time, "Should the World Be Worried About the 'Explosive' New Outbreak of Coronavirus in Beijing?," 16 June 2020 More than 1,000 new cases have been confirmed over the past 14 days in Montgomery County, which at about 225,000 people is only the state’s fourth most populous. USA TODAY, "Luchador face masks, Kid Rock citation, virtual memorial: News from around our 50 states," 16 June 2020 Jefferson County election officials have acknowledged the less-than-ideal circumstances of having only one in-person polling site for the state's most populous area. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "For upcoming primary election, TARC offers free Louisville shuttle to Kentucky Expo Center," 10 June 2020 On Friday, all worship facilities in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, including mosques, were allowed to reopen at half capacity and with social-distancing requirements in place. Nick Perry, The Christian Science Monitor, "New Zealand virus free, other countries move to reopen," 8 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for populous

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for populous

Last Updated

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Populous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/populous. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for populous


How to pronounce populous (audio)

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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