Meaning of PEOPLE in English

— peopleless , adj. — peopler , n.

/pee"peuhl/ , n. , pl. peoples for 4, v. , peopled, peopling .


1. persons indefinitely or collectively; persons in general: to find it easy to talk to people; What will people think?

2. persons, whether men, women, or children, considered as numerable individuals forming a group: Twenty people volunteered to help.

3. human beings, as distinguished from animals or other beings.

4. the entire body of persons who constitute a community, tribe, nation, or other group by virtue of a common culture, history, religion, or the like: the people of Australia; the Jewish people.

5. the persons of any particular group, company, or number (sometimes used in combination): the people of a parish; educated people; salespeople.

6. the ordinary persons, as distinguished from those who have wealth, rank, influence, etc.: a man of the people.

7. the subjects, followers, or subordinates of a ruler, leader, employer, etc.: the king and his people.

8. the body of enfranchised citizens of a state: representatives chosen by the people.

9. a person's family or relatives: My grandmother's people came from Iowa.

10. (used in the possessive in Communist or left-wing countries to indicate that an institution operates under the control of or for the benefit of the people, esp. under Communist leadership): people's republic; people's army.

11. animals of a specified kind: the monkey people of the forest.


12. to furnish with people; populate.

13. to supply or stock as if with people: a meadow peopled with flowers.

[ 1225-75; ME peple poeple, OF pueple populus. See POPULAR ]

Syn. 4. See race 2 .

Usage . PEOPLE is usually followed by a plural verb and referred to by a plural pronoun: People are always looking for a bargain. The people have made their choice. The possessive is formed regularly, with the apostrophe before the -s: people's desire for a bargain; the people's choice. When PEOPLE means "the entire body of persons who constitute a community or other group by virtue of a common culture, history, etc.," it is used as a singular, with the plural PEOPLES: This people shares characteristics with certain inhabitants of central Asia. The aboriginal peoples of the Western Hemisphere speak many different languages. The formation of the possessive is regular; the singular is PEOPLE'S and the plural is PEOPLES'.

At one time, some usage guides maintained that PEOPLE could not be preceded by a number, as in Fewer than 30 people showed up. This use is now unquestionably standard in all contexts.

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .