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 Eight other states are seeing the number of new cases rise, including the nation's most populous state, California. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "'Unrivaled?' Fact-checking Donald Trump's claims about COVID-19 testing," 13 May 2020 For a quarter-century, Florida has been the nation’s most populous general election battleground state. Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, "Biden campaigns in Florida – from his home in Delaware," 8 May 2020 But California, the most populous state in the country, has a fraction of the deaths that New York does. New York Times, "Coronavirus in N.Y.C.: Latest Updates," 27 Apr. 2020 As a senator and former attorney general of the nation’s most populous state, she may be seen as more prepared than some to assume the top job. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "Kamala Harris ‘would be honored’ to be Joe Biden’s running mate," 17 Apr. 2020 California, the country’s most populous state, deemed COVID-19 too problematic for high school athletics to overcome this spring and ended all seasons. Nick Talbot, ExpressNews.com, "Talbot: No rational plan will save high school sports after coronavirus shutdown," 10 Apr. 2020 But there are only about 200,000 machines available. In California, the nation's most populous state with nearly 40 million people, Gov. Gavin Newsom is on the hunt for at least 10,000 ventilators. Adam Beam, The Christian Science Monitor, "'We can do this': US engineers fix piles of broken ventilators," 2 Apr. 2020 California, of course, is the country's most populous state and a huge market for automakers. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Trump Expected to Roll Back Fuel-Efficiency Standards on March 31," 30 Mar. 2020 Yet Wisconsin has tested nearly 13,000 residents for the virus, while Arizona has tested fewer than 7,000, despite being a more populous state. Daphne Chen And John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Some are saying Milwaukee is a top city for coronavirus spread, but more data and consistent testing is needed before comparing," 27 Mar. 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

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Populous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/populous. Accessed 25 May. 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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