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people

Line breaks: people
Pronunciation: /ˈpiːp(ə)l
 
/

Definition of people in English:

plural noun

1Human beings in general or considered collectively: the earthquake killed 30,000 people people think I’m mad
More example sentences
  • He's a very strong personality, but he talks to people as human beings and he's very honest.
  • The Home Office had to treat these people as decent human beings and provide extra resources.
  • We may well decide that it was the most evil act ever perpetrated by human beings on fellow people.
Synonyms
1.1 (the people) The citizens of a country, especially when considered in relation to those who govern them: his reforms no longer have the support of the people
More example sentences
  • It was designed to evolve, to live, and to breathe like the people that it governs.
  • The leaders rarely spoke like the people they governed and it was no disadvantage.
  • It is time somebody started to govern for the people than for their own place in history.
Synonyms
1.2 (the people) The members of a society without special rank or position: he is very much a man of the people
More example sentences
  • Our position is that the people of Edinburgh will take the decision in a referendum.
  • We think we provide an equitable service to all ranks and all the people we represent.
  • I am also aware of the plight of some of the people in the position she is talking about.
Synonyms
the proletariat, the common people, the masses, the populace, the multitude, the rank and file, the commonality, the commonalty, the third estate, the plebeians, the crowd
derogatory the hoi polloi, the common herd, the rabble, the mob, the riff-raff, the canaille, the great unwashed, the ragtag (and bobtail), the proles, the plebs
1.3 (the People) US The state prosecution in a trial: pre-trial statements made by the People’s witnesses
More example sentences
  • Now, I have handed to your Honours the early United States case of People v Whipple.
  • Then the People's Justice Party had a meeting of 150 people, which was really good.
  • This tactic allows them to be on both sides of the issue and thus unaccountable to the People.
2 (plural peoples) [treated as singular or plural] The members of a particular nation, community, or ethnic group: the native peoples of Canada
More example sentences
  • However, the nation's indigenous peoples have never tasted their share of Argentina's riches.
  • Ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples and tribal people everywhere face discrimination.
  • There is also an eloquent record of tribal history of the indigenous peoples of Alaska's ethnic Indian and Inuit population.
Synonyms
race, tribe, clan, ethnic group, strain, stock, caste, nation, country, population, populace
archaic breed, folk, seed
3 (one's people) One’s supporters or employees: I’ve had my people watching the house for some time now
More example sentences
  • The coaching staff consists of the team of people that is employed by the club to support the manager.
4 (one's people) dated One’s parents or relatives: my people live in Warwickshire

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1(Of a group of people) inhabit (a place): an arid mountain region peopled by warring clans
More example sentences
  • The observances recognise that the island was peopled by different groups of Indians who had settled here over the 7000 years before the European encounter.
  • Remote and entirely dedicated to his craft, he lived in a world peopled by a few intimate friends, a world sealed to outsiders.
  • Yet, the first centralizing tendencies appeared only after skirmishes between Native Americans and settlers led colonial officials to consider peopling the region as a buffer to avoid further conflict.
Synonyms
populate, settle (in), colonize, establish oneself in, inhabit, live in, occupy
formal be, reside in, domiciled in, dwell in
1.1Fill or be present in (a place or domain): in her imagination the flat was suddenly peopled with ghosts
More example sentences
  • The world peopled by signs of hope suddenly appears to be emptied of meaning.
  • What name do we have for such a horrible void that fills what was once peopled by the living?
  • But one must feel a certain pity for him, trapped in a farce of horrendous dialogue and flatlining humour, peopled by androgynous hippy beatniks who make one glad the sixties are dead.
1.2Fill (a place) with inhabitants: it was his intention to people the town with English colonists
More example sentences
  • Obsessed with the sky, he watched the stars and the moon, peopling them with imaginary inhabitants.

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French poeple, from Latin populus 'populace'.

More
  • People is from Anglo-Norman French poeple, from Latin populus ‘populace’, also the source of words such as population (mid 16th century); populace (late 16th century); and popular (Late Middle English) originally ‘prevalent among the general public’: with ‘liked and admired’ early 17th century. The phrase of all people expressing disbelief about somebody dates from the 1700s; the capitalized form in the phrase the People referring in US legal contexts to the State prosecution the People versus…dates from the early 19th century. See also public

Derivatives

peoplehood

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Critics who deride Jewish dietary laws as arbitrary, repressive, or irrelevant ignore the power of this everyday tradition to preserve our peoplehood and deepen our humanity.
  • In retelling it we bring ourselves out from our own narrow places, to freedom, to peoplehood, to connection with God.
  • It is impossible to set up legitimate global authorities because there is no global democracy, no sense of common peoplehood and trust.

Words that rhyme with people

peepul, steeple

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