adjective

  • 1Liked, admired, or enjoyed by many people or by a particular person or group.

    ‘she was one of the most popular girls in the school’
    ‘these cheeses are very popular in Europe’
    • ‘It is very popular with both boys and girls, and the boys are relieved they don't have to play with dolls in prams any more.’
    • ‘The game is proving very popular with locals with several wins over recent weeks.’
    • ‘Doncaster town centre has an enormous market which is popular with locals and visitors alike.’
    • ‘It's a cross between netball and football, and is popular with Norwegian girls in this country.’
    • ‘It has become in her view an arty scene, trendy to visit at the weekend and popular with tourists.’
    • ‘The books have become hugely popular with young boys and students who don't like to read.’
    • ‘He said the well water was of excellent quality and had always been popular with local people.’
    • ‘The Nomads played at the club on Thursday and proved very popular with the membership.’
    • ‘He knew he was handsome and popular with the girls and no girls could resist him.’
    • ‘In the course of his work he was known to many people in the local towns and was very popular with everybody.’
    • ‘She was well liked and popular with her class mates and her year group.’
    • ‘Friday was music day as musical tots proved very popular with children and staff!’
    • ‘That was quite popular with the folk crowd, but I kept my eye open to what was going on in the States.’
    • ‘Maud had a lovely manner and kind nature and she was very popular with her neighbours in Kilbeg.’
    • ‘For a number of years he drove the local school bus and was very popular with all his young passengers.’
    • ‘The area is popular with tourists and there is good demand for rental accommodation.’
    • ‘Mardar is a motorcycle courier, popular with the girls for his brooding good looks.’
    • ‘I was awkward around girls, albeit very popular with them because I could make them laugh.’
    • ‘The group was led by his younger brother Koki who was always popular with everyone, cool and laid back.’
    • ‘Devizes is an historic market town which is popular with local residents and those from further afield.’
    well liked, liked, favoured, in favour, well received, approved, admired, accepted, welcome, sought-after, in demand, desired, wanted
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  • 2[attributive] (of cultural activities or products) intended for or suited to the taste, understanding, or means of the general public rather than specialists or intellectuals.

    ‘the popular press’
    • ‘We had made a pact to tackle together one of the mountains of popular cultural or die in the attempt.’
    • ‘Here again, he fears, his preferences are hopelessly at odds with popular tastes.’
    • ‘So, if intelligent design is the popular choice, perhaps we should just get used to it.’
    • ‘Yet they made no concessions to popular taste, or even to prevailing trends in dance music.’
    • ‘Ironically, it was a rant about popular press waffling on about the bursting of the internet bubble.’
    • ‘Not that Home has much hope of appealing to popular taste stuck away on BBC Four, of course.’
    • ‘For the first time, environmental issues are at the heart of widespread popular activity.’
    • ‘The subject of each drawing is the image, or images, that created a popular cultural event.’
    • ‘I wonder if this approach is so popular because of intellectual laziness as much as anything else?’
    • ‘Press releases might have been compiled, to some extent, in anticipation of popular tastes.’
    • ‘How does the public know the appointees are representing popular rather than elite interests?’
    • ‘Even the splits within the establishment are a product of popular anti-war pressure.’
    • ‘It follows that these extraordinary sculptures are more than studies in popular culture.’
    • ‘It is true that these are terms of public parlance, rather than of popular speech.’
    • ‘The vote was a result of a mass popular campaign uniting the left, the unions and the global justice movement.’
    • ‘He showed that at key turning points it was popular activity of the masses that shaped events.’
    • ‘The Chinese exported ceramics for the popular taste of early Muslim rulers in the ninth century.’
    • ‘In the popular press, however, the two commingled and were accessible to all readers.’
    • ‘What we found in making these selections, is that it is all too easy to moan about the decline and fall of popular culture.’
    • ‘Moreover, no popular bestseller has been written or translated on this issue.’
    non-specialist, non-technical, non-professional, amateur, lay, lay person's, general, middle-of-the-road
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    1. 2.1 (of a belief or attitude) held by the majority of the general public.
      ‘many adult cats, contrary to popular opinion, dislike milk’
      • ‘The popular opinion was that if Stein had a weakness it was in making substitutions.’
      • ‘He knew precisely how to manipulate popular opinion and revelled in the attention he got.’
      • ‘There is a popular belief amongst law enforcement officers that the war on drugs has already been lost.’
      • ‘In the wake of the pit closures crisis of the early 1990s, there was a shift in popular attitudes.’
      • ‘This is the rule of the law, which must not be held sway to the most current popular opinion.’
      • ‘The price tags on premium ranges also contradict the popular belief that healthy eating costs more.’
      • ‘Even if there is a popular belief that it is only for the classes, I cannot challenge.’
      • ‘Don't be tempted by the increasingly popular belief that all garden furniture needs a patio.’
      • ‘A new government in Baghdad will have to do its utmost to meet popular expectations.’
      • ‘In modern drama there is no such thing as the rational counter to wildfire popular beliefs.’
      • ‘Agricola disregarded many of the popular beliefs about minerals and fossils.’
      • ‘Among his other devices to rally popular opinion was a relief of pressure on the Orthodox Church.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular belief, in the right circumstances domesticated dogs will kill cats.’
      • ‘The play is set in a country embroiled in an ongoing war, where one woman dares to stand out against popular opinion.’
      • ‘There is no sense of the artist's responsibility to represent popular sentiments.’
      • ‘There is a popular belief that property is a better investment than shares.’
      • ‘We have at least established that contrary to popular belief, Yanks do have a sense of humour.’
      • ‘In fact, Moore expresses a set of increasingly popular attitudes toward politics.’
      • ‘Studies of Scottish popular belief in the trials have hitherto emphasised narratives.’
      • ‘This popular fallacy about room temperature is a hangover from the years when wine was a luxury for the few.’
      widespread, general, common, current, prevalent, prevailing, customary, universal, standard, stock, shared, in circulation, rife
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  • 3[attributive] (of political activity) of or carried on by the people as a whole rather than restricted to politicians or political parties.

    ‘a popular revolt against colonial rule’
    • ‘As in British elections, there was a carnival air to much popular involvement in politics.’
    • ‘Sinn Fein is confident it can stretch its lead over Mark Durkan's party in terms of the popular vote.’
    • ‘This belief is not based on any evidence that the Labour Party enjoys massive popular support.’
    • ‘There are many examples of regimes every bit as repressive as Iraq's falling to popular revolt.’
    • ‘The only clue he gave lay in the distinction he made between popular sovereignty and political power.’
    • ‘I fear that you are the victim of a political party struggling to find popular appeal.’
    • ‘This remains an extremely controversial subject in popular Italian politics.’
    • ‘The election was held without any great popular enthusiasm for any politician.’
    • ‘This vote, incidentally, represented the peak of popular support for the party.’
    • ‘There was genuine popular interest in the party about the debate the NPI had initiated.’
    • ‘If the party in power has to retain popular support, it has to list out what it has achieved.’
    • ‘In a party built on ideology, the will of the party reigns over the popular will.’
    • ‘Even those in the front line of defending the old system were overcome by the popular revolt.’
    • ‘Why did so many different regimes ask for his help when they were threatened by popular revolt?’
    • ‘He made the party more amenable to Stalin, but lost a lot of popular support for the party as a result.’
    • ‘What kinds of crime have been subject to most political and popular attention?’
    • ‘The salient reality was the depth of popular antipathy to the political establishment as a whole.’
    • ‘As he watched popular and political support for Richard ebb away, he decided to make a bid for the crown himself.’
    • ‘They also saw the danger to the Labour Party of popular mobilisation led by the far left.’
    • ‘There is popular outrage over the deliberate deception used to carry out this war.’
    mass, general, communal, collective, social, societal, collaborative, group, civil, public, civic
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Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense prevalent among the general public): from Latin popularis, from populus people Sense 1 dates from the early 17th century.

Pronunciation:

popular

/ˈpäpyələr/