vox populi

vox po·​pu·​li | \ ˈväks-ˈpä-pyü-ˌlī How to pronounce vox populi (audio) , -pyə-(ˌ)lē How to pronounce vox populi (audio) , -pə-(ˌ)lē \

Definition of vox populi

: popular sentiment or opinion : the voice of the people Social media is supposed to be an arena that amplifies the vox populi, that makes it easier to know what we the people think.— Kate Allen The popularity of the genre may grow out of a widespread sense that the vox populi is being shouted down by the pols and pundits who hog the tube.— Walter Goodman

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Did You Know?

Vox populi is a Latin phrase that literally translates as "the voice of the people." It can be found in the longer maxim, "Vox populi, vox Dei," which means "The voice of the people is the voice of God." Many people think that expression means that the people are always right, but it really implies that the will of the masses - right or wrong - is often irresistible. Since the mid-1960s, English speakers, especially British ones, have trimmed "vox populi" down to the abbreviated form "vox pop," an expression used particularly for popular opinion as it is used and expressed by the media.

Examples of vox populi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In this age of technology, social media has become the vox populi. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Delete Facebook and save your friends: What Mark Zuckerberg's shocking admissions can teach us about social media," 22 Mar. 2018 All of which is to say…I strive to make this a mix of vox populi and vox me. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Young-Harrison Controversy, Plus Tanking, Transparency and More," 14 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vox populi.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of vox populi

circa 1547, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vox populi

Latin, voice of the people

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The first known use of vox populi was circa 1547

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Cite this Entry

“Vox populi.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vox%20populi. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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