| ˈpä-pyə-lər
How to pronounce popular (audio)


: of or relating to the general public


: suitable to the majority: such as


: adapted to or indicative of the understanding and taste of the majority

a popular history of the war


: suited to the means of the majority : inexpensive

sold at popular prices


: frequently encountered or widely accepted

a popular theory


: commonly liked or approved

a very popular girl

Other Words from popular



Synonyms & Antonyms for popular


big, crowd-pleasing, du jour, faddish, faddy, fashionable, favorite, happening, hot, in, large, modish, pop, popularized, red-hot, vogue, voguish


out, unfashionable, unpopular

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Choose the Right Synonym for popular

common, ordinary, plain, familiar, popular, vulgar mean generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual. common implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence

a common error

lacked common honesty

and may additionally suggest inferiority or coarseness.

common manners

ordinary stresses conformance in quality or kind with the regular order of things.

an ordinary pleasant summer day

a very ordinary sort of man

plain is likely to suggest homely simplicity.

plain hard-working people

familiar stresses the fact of being generally known and easily recognized.

a familiar melody

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

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

souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar taste

Examples of popular in a Sentence

They have names that were popular a century ago.

He is a popular guy in school.

Spicy foods have become increasingly popular.

That is a very popular misconception.

The word “groovy” was popular in the 1960s but it’s outdated now.

Her theories are popular among social scientists.

a popular history of physics

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Recent Examples on the Web

For this reason, the Colonial style is extremely versatile, making it a popular choice for many Americans in search of their dream home.

Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, “Here’s Why Colonial-Style Homes Reign Supreme,” 2 May 2019

In the early 1960s, there were no male toy figures popular with boys.

Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, “Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend,” 9 Apr. 2019

One popular option is ​cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims to help people reframe thoughts that can provoke or exacerbate anxiety.

Natasha Lavender, SELF, “This Is the Difference Between Feeling Anxious and Having an Anxiety Disorder,” 16 May 2019

Itʼs an easy and affordable option to add personality to Ikea’s popular modular pieces.

Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, “How to Design a Bachelor Pad That Isn’t a Total Cliché,” 15 May 2019

File under trends that won’t go away: the 5:2 diet, a type of intermittent fasting made popular by British broadcaster Michael Mosley and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, “What Is the 5:2 Diet, Jimmy Kimmel’s Intense Weight-Loss Method?,” 13 May 2019

But now the network has announced that the popular sitcom—which was saved after its initial cancellation on ABC—won’t be back at all in September.

Megan Stein, Country Living, “Fox Won’t Air ‘Last Man Standing’ Season 8 Until 2020,” 13 May 2019

Hyundai chose a safe bet with the wildly popular Marvel theme.

Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, “With the 2019 Hyundai Kona Iron Man Edition, MCU Means Marvel Car Universe,” 10 May 2019

Unlike modern, which refers to a specific period with distinct design characteristics, the contemporary aesthetic is constantly evolving, reflecting the popular styles of present-day design.

Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, “Best Room Wins Episode Two Steps Up to the Challenge of Contemporary,” 9 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘popular.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of popular

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for popular

Latin popularis, from populus the people, a people

Learn More about popular

Statistics for popular

Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

More Definitions for popular


| ˈpä-pyə-lər
How to pronounce popular (audio)

Kids Definition of popular


: of or relating to most of the people in a country or area

the popular vote popular culture


: enjoyed or approved by many people

a popular game


: frequently encountered or widely accepted

popular opinion

Other Words from popular



a popularly held belief

Legal Definition of popular


: of or relating to the general public


: of, relating to, or by the people (as of a nation or state) as a whole as distinguished from a specific class or group


: based on or alleged to be based on the will of the people

Comments on popular

What made you want to look up popular? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


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