WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
peo•ple /ˈpipəl/USA pronunciation   n., pl.  -ples for 3, v.,.   -pled, -pling. 
  1. persons as a group;
    persons in general:[plural]There were too many people in the room.
  2. human beings, as distinguished from animals or other beings:[plural]All people have names.
  3. the entire body of persons who make up a community, tribe, etc., in that they have a common culture, religion, or the like:[countable]a hard-working, industrious people; the Jewish people.
  4. the ordinary persons of a community, country, etc., as distinguished from those who have wealth, rank, etc.;
    the citizens of a state who are allowed to vote:[plural;  the + ~]the common people;a man of the people;a people's army.
  5. the followers of, or the persons working for, a ruler, employer, etc.:[plural]The tycoon promised that his people would look at our proposals.
  6. a person's family or relatives:[plural]Her people have lived here for generations.
  7. (added to words or roots to make nouns that refer to the persons of any particular group, profession, etc.;
    it is sometimes used to avoid making reference to the sex or gender of the persons designated:sales + people→ salespeople (not: salesmen).

v. [+ object]
  1. to fill with people;
    populate:The area was first peopled by nomads.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
peo•ple  (pēpəl),USA pronunciation n., pl.  -ples for 4, v.,  -pled, -pling. 
  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. Governmentthe 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. Government(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.

  1. to furnish with people;
  2. to supply or stock as if with people:a meadow peopled with flowers.
people•less, adj. 
peopler, n. 
  • Latin populus. See popular
  • Anglo-French poeple, Old French pueple
  • Middle English peple 1225–75
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  race 2.
    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.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

people /ˈpiːpəl/ n (usually functioning as plural)
  1. persons collectively or in general
  2. a group of persons considered together: blind people
  3. ( pl peoples) the persons living in a country and sharing the same nationality: the French people
  4. one's family: he took her home to meet his people
  5. persons loyal to someone powerful: the king's people accompanied him in exile
  6. the peoplethe mass of persons without special distinction, privileges, etc
  7. the body of persons in a country, esp those entitled to vote
  1. (transitive) to provide with or as if with people or inhabitants
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French pople, from Latin populus; see populace

'peoples' also found in these entries:

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