October 19, 2012
popular (adjective)
\PAHP-yuh-ler\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : of, relating to, or coming from the whole body of people2 : suitable for the average person (as in low price or ease of understanding)3 : generally current : prevalent4 : commonly liked or approved
How do you use it?
Our school cafeteria offers three daily options for lunch and the pizza with a side of tossed salad is always the most popular.
Are you a word wiz?

"Popular" traces ultimately back to the Latin word "populus." What do you think "populus" means?

We hope most people went with the correct answer of D. The Latin "populus," meaning "the people" or "a people," became the Latin "popularis," which English speakers of the 1500s adopted as "popular." Several other "people" words also trace back to "populus," such as "population," "populate," and "populous." The word "people" itself also claims "populus" as its ancestor. And the word "poplar," referring to a slender quick-growing tree with catkins for flowers, doesn't have much to do with people but it also traces back to "populus."
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