Definition of populate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpäpyəˌlāt/


[with object]
1Form the population of (a town, area, or country): the island is populated by scarcely 40,000 people (as adjective, with submodifier populated) a densely populated area
More example sentences
  • The city is densely populated with the second highest number of people per hectare in the whole of the south-east.
  • The crash site is densely populated with lots of small homes.
  • Pretty soon the place was populated with everybody from gypsies to prime ministers to people with turbans running around - it was indeed an Orson party.
inhabit, occupy, people;
live in, reside in
1.1Cause people to settle in (an area or place): Finland pursues a policy designed to populate its Russian borders
More example sentences
  • The earthern barriers to the surrounding arms of the Fraser have existed in some form since the settlers first started populating the area in the mid to late 1800s.
  • Much of the world was not populated, settlements of people existed here and there.
  • In Monterey Bay, California, scientists documented a complete turnover of the marine population with cold water fish moving northward and warm water fish and sea animals moving in to populate that area.
settle, colonize, people, occupy, move into, make one's home in
1.2Fill or be present in (a place, environment, or domain): the spirit of the book and the characters who populate its pages
More example sentences
  • Certainly grotesque characters populate the world, as in all of the Coens' films, but a lot of the film ultimately centers on Ed's obsession with cleanliness.
  • Given that Haslam has played and improvised enough characters to populate a small city, is there some quality that unites the less ephemeral ones?
  • Here's a brief guide to the freaks and grotesques that populate the Peepshow world.
1.3Add data to a previously empty section of (an electronic form, document, etc.): use scripts to populate the graph with data
More example sentences
  • The values populated for major, minor, and patch are under the control of the Web service.
  • In order to make things a bit more interesting, let's populate our table with some values.
  • The room, brightly lit by the sun through the gaps in its wooden slat roof, was populated by perhaps four tables and ten people.


Late 16th century: from medieval Latin populat- 'supplied with people', from the verb populare, from populus 'people'.

Words that rhyme with populate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pop·u·late

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