Thesaurus

popular

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of popular

2 accepted, used, or practiced by most people
  • the popular custom of exchanging greeting cards during the holiday season

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3 held by or applicable to a majority of the people
  • popular opinion on that issue has changed dramatically over the years

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4 of, relating to, or favoring political democracy
  • a truly popular revolution, not one that replaced one dictatorship with another

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5 being within the financial means of most people
  • from their inception, DVDs were designed to be sold directly to consumers at popular prices

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6 costing little
  • we also have the popular models, for those who prefer not to invest too much in a new TV

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About popular

How does the adjective popular contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of popular are common, familiar, ordinary, plain, and vulgar. While all these words mean "generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual," popular applies to what is accepted by or prevalent among people in general sometimes in contrast to upper classes or special groups.

a writer of popular romances

When is it sensible to use common instead of popular?

While the synonyms common and popular are close in meaning, common implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence and may additionally suggest inferiority or coarseness.

a common error

lacked common honesty

common manners

When would familiar be a good substitute for popular?

In some situations, the words familiar and popular are roughly equivalent. However, familiar stresses the fact of being generally known and easily recognized.

a familiar melody

When might ordinary be a better fit than popular?

While in some cases nearly identical to popular, ordinary stresses conformance in quality or kind with the regular order of things.

an ordinary pleasant summer day

a very ordinary sort of man

In what contexts can plain take the place of popular?

The words plain and popular can be used in similar contexts, but plain is likely to suggest homely simplicity.

plain hard-working people

How are the words vulgar and popular related?

Vulgar, otherwise similar to popular, is likely to carry derogatory connotations (as of inferiority or coarseness).

souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar taste

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Time Traveler for popular

Time Traveler

The first known use of popular was in 1548

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Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Popular.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/popular. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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