Meaning of PEOPLE in English


1. a person

2. people in general

3. all the people in a particular area, city, country etc

4. a person in a story

5. relating to people, not animals or machines

6. for each person

7. no people


ordinary people : ↑ NORMAL/ORDINARY

a group of people : ↑ GROUP

see also









1. a person

▷ person /ˈpɜːʳs ə n/ [countable noun]

▪ I think Sue’s a really nice person.

▪ He’s the only person I know who can speak Chinese.

▪ There were over 200 people at the meeting.

▪ The streets were suddenly full of people.

▷ someone/somebody /ˈsʌmwʌn, ˈsʌmbɒdi, -bədiǁ-ˈbɑːdi, -bədi/ [pronoun]

a person - use this when you do not know who the person is, or when it is not important to say who it is :

▪ Someone phoned you but I didn’t get their name.

▪ What would you do if somebody tried to rob you in the street?

someone else/somebody else

another person

▪ Can’t you get someone else to clean the kitchen for you?

▷ human being/human /ˌhjuːmən ˈbiːɪŋ, ˈhjuːmən/ [countable noun]

a person - use this when you are comparing people with animals or machines :

▪ The drug had never before been tested on a human being.

▪ Computers have replaced humans in many factories.

▷ individual /ˌɪndɪˈvɪdʒuəl, ˌɪndəˈvɪdʒuəl/ [countable noun]

a person - use this especially when you are talking about responsibility or choice :

▪ It is the responsibility of each individual within the class to make sure they have the correct books.

▪ The decision to have an operation should be up to the individual involved.

▷ character /ˈkærɪktəʳ, ˈkærəktəʳ/ [countable noun]

a person who seems strange, interesting etc :

▪ A couple of suspicious-looking characters were standing outside the house.

▪ Beneath his brash, noisy exterior was a much shrewder and lonelier character than he admitted.

2. people in general

▷ people /ˈpiːp ə l/ [plural noun]

people in general :

▪ People are getting very worried about rising crime.

▪ I don’t want people to feel sorry for me.

most/some people

▪ Most people hate writing essays, but I quite like it.

▷ everyone/everybody /ˈevriwʌn, ˈevriˌbɒdiǁ-ˌbɑːdi/ [pronoun]

all people - use this to make general statements about how people behave, what people like etc :

▪ Don’t you like ice-cream? I thought everyone liked it!

▪ Everybody has the right to a good education.

▪ Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you.

▷ folks /fəʊks/ [plural noun] American spoken

people :

▪ Folks around here have been pretty angry about the governor’s actions.

most/some folks

▪ Some folks think the schools are better now than they were twenty years ago.

▷ the human race /ðə ˌhjuːmən ˈreɪs/ [noun phrase]

all the people in the world, considered as one group :

▪ Pollution is threatening the future of the human race.

the entire/whole human race

▪ The entire human race could be wiped out by nuclear war.

a member of the human race

▪ Until then, no member of the human race had ever been able to make a map of the whole world.

▷ mankind/humankind /mænˈkaɪnd, ˌhjuːmənˈkaɪnd/ [uncountable noun]

people in general - used especially when talking about their history and development, or how something affects their continued existence :

▪ The Americans exploded the first nuclear weapon in the history of mankind.

▪ Travelling into space was a great advance for mankind.

▪ In the interests of humankind we must stop destroying our planet.

▷ man /mæn/ [uncountable noun]

people in general - use this when you are comparing humans with other living things. Some people do not use this word because it can seem offensive to women :

▪ Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited city known to man.

▪ The grandeur of the mountains is a constant reminder of man’s insignificance.

▪ The Dutch reclamation of their land is a classic case of man’s struggle against nature.

▷ humanity /hjuːˈmænɪti, hjuːˈmænəti/ [uncountable noun]

people in general - use this especially when you are talking about people’s rights to be treated like all other humans and not suffer cruelty, hunger etc :

▪ 30% of humanity live in conditions of terrible poverty.

a crime against humanity

▪ The General was accused of committing crimes against humanity.

▷ the public /ðə ˈpʌblɪk/ []

ordinary people who do not belong to the government, the police etc, and do not have any special rights :

▪ The castle is open to the public during the summer.

▪ The public ought to know how the money from taxes is being spent.

a member of the public

▪ Some of these politicians never meet ordinary members of the public.

the general public

▪ Tickets will become available to the general public in June.

public [adjective only before noun]

▪ Public attitudes to homosexuality are gradually changing.

▪ The plan cannot succeed without public support.

▷ society /səˈsaɪɪti, səˈsaɪəti/ [uncountable noun]

people in general - use this to talk about people as an organized group with a system of laws and accepted behaviour :

▪ Islamic society

▪ The judge described Smith as ‘a danger to society’.

member of society

▪ We want our students to become useful and responsible members of society.

▷ folk /fəʊk/ [plural noun]

young/old/rich/country/city etc folk

people of a particular type or from a particular area, considered together as a group :

▪ The young folk need to have a place where they can go in the evenings.

▪ Stella’s ambition is to get a job working with old folk.

▪ His parents were hard-working country folk.

▷ social /ˈsəʊʃ ə l/ [adjective only before noun]

use this about conditions, problems, and changes that affect all the people in society :

▪ Rising unemployment led to even more social problems.

▪ social changes that brought women even greater freedom

3. all the people in a particular area, city, country etc

▷ population /ˌpɒpjɑˈleɪʃ ə nǁˌpɑː-/ [countable noun with singular or plural verb in British English]

all the people who live in a town or country - use this when saying how many people live there, or giving some facts about them :

the population of Tokyo/Greece etc

▪ In 1966 the population of Lima was about two million.

a population of five million/twenty million etc

▪ New Jersey has a population of around 7.6 million.

the black/Catholic/male population

all the black people, Catholic people etc in a place

▪ 30% of the male population suffers from heart disease.

the general population

people in general compared with a particular group

▪ In our study, significantly more miners complained of weight loss than the general population.

▷ the people /ðə ˈpiːp ə l/ [plural noun]

all the people who live in a particular place :

the British/Korean/Nigerian etc people

▪ Reagan’s views were shared by a majority of the American people.

the people of Paris/China etc

▪ the awful sufferings of the people of Sarajevo

▷ the French/Germans/Japanese etc /ðə ˈfrentʃ/ [plural noun]

all the people who live in France, Germany etc - use this when describing them in a general way or as a political force :

▪ The French are famous for their love of good food.

▪ The Chinese are trying to industrialize without changing the essential nature of their society.

▷ community /kəˈmjuːnɪti, kəˈmjuːnəti/ [countable noun]

a group of people who live in the same area, especially when they all belong to the same religious group or race :

▪ The murder has shocked the local community.

the Jewish/Muslim/Greek etc community

▪ New York’s Jewish community

▷ Londoners/New Yorkers/Parisians etc /ˈlʌndənəʳz/

people who live in London, New York, Paris etc :

▪ For most New Yorkers, life will never be the same again.

▪ The Milanese people from Milan elected a new mayor yesterday.

4. a person in a story

▷ character /ˈkærɪktəʳ, ˈkærəktəʳ/ [countable noun]

a person in a story in a book, film, or play :

▪ It was a wonderful story -- the characters were so convincing.

the main/central character

▪ The interesting thing about the play is the conflict between the two main characters.

▷ hero /ˈhɪ ə rəʊ/ [countable noun]

the man or boy who is the main character in a book, play, film etc, who people admire because he is good, strong, brave, honest etc :

hero of

▪ Indiana Jones is the hero of the film.

tragic hero

a hero who suffers a lot

▪ Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most famous tragic hero.

▷ heroine /ˈherəʊɪn, ˈherəʊən/ [countable noun]

the woman or girl who is the main character in a book, play, film etc, who people admire because she is good, strong, brave, honest etc :

heroine of

▪ The heroine of her latest novel is a middle-class English woman.

5. relating to people, not animals or machines

▷ human /ˈhjuːmən/ [adjective only before noun]

use this about people’s abilities, character, or behaviour, when you are comparing people with animals or machines :

▪ the effects of pollution on the human and animal population

▪ Bacteria cannot be seen with the human eye.

6. for each person

▷ per person /pəʳ ˈpɜːʳs ə n/ [adverb]

$500/2 pieces etc per person

$500, two pieces etc for each person :

▪ There were only two pieces of bread per person.

▪ You can get a decent meal for less than £20 per person.

▷ a head /ə ˈhed/ [adverb]

$10/£5 etc a head

use this to say how much something costs for each person :

▪ We paid £5 a head for our Christmas dinner.

▪ Guests were paying $800 a head for luxury hotel accommodation.

▷ per capita /pəʳ ˈkæpə̇tə/ [adverb/adjective]

if something costs a particular amount, or someone uses a particular amount etc per capita, that is how much each person pays, uses etc - used especially in business, politics, or economics :

▪ Among the largest consumers of energy per capita is the United States.

per capita income/expenditure/consumption etc

▪ The average per capita income has decreased over the past five years.

▪ In Europe the per capita supply of trained medical staff has increased dramatically.

7. no people

▷ no one/nobody /ˈnəʊ wʌn, ˈnəʊbədi/ [pronoun]

no person or people :

▪ No-one was home, so I left a note.

▪ He explained what had happened but nobody believed him.

no one at all/nobody at all

▪ Nobody had supported him, nobody at all.

▷ not a soul /ˌnɒt ə ˈsəʊl/ [noun phrase]

no one - use this when it is unusual or surprising that there is no one somewhere :

▪ It was strange. There wasn’t a soul in the street.

not a soul to be seen/not a soul in sight

▪ Steve looked in every room, but there was no sound and not a soul to be seen.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .