Population means the number of people in a geographic area. It can also be used for subgroups of people or animals. The city’s population has passed 8 million––who knows what that means for the rat population living off their garbage? Ugh.

The word population––and also the word populace––derive from the Latin populus, “people.” To remember that population is connected to people, think about the words popular, populist, pop culture, pop music. Don’t think about pop corn––unless you’re thinking about the movie-going population that lives on it.

Definitions of population
  1. noun

    the people who inhabit a territory or state

    population seemed to be well fed and clothed”
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    home front

    the civilian population (and their activities) of a country at war
    type of:


    (plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively

  2. noun

    a group of organisms of the same species inhabiting a given area

    “they hired hunters to keep down the deer
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    too much population
    type of:

    group, grouping

    any number of entities (members) considered as a unit

  3. noun

    the number of inhabitants (either the total number or the number of a particular race or class) in a given place (country or city etc.)

    “people come and go, but the
    population of this town has remained approximately constant for the past decade”
    “the African-American
    population of Salt Lake City has been increasing”
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    type of:

    integer, whole number

    any of the natural numbers (positive or negative) or zero

  4. noun

    the act of populating (causing to live in a place)

    “he deplored the
    population of colonies with convicted criminals”
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    type of:

    colonisation, colonization, settlement

    the act of colonizing; the establishment of colonies

  5. noun

    (statistics) the entire aggregation of items from which samples can be drawn

    “it is an estimate of the mean of the
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    a population that is part of a larger population
    type of:

    accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, collection

    several things grouped together or considered as a whole

Word Family