(1)   (plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively
"Old people"
"There were at least 200 people in the audience"
(2)   Members of a family line
"His people have been farmers for generations"
"Are your people still alive?"
(3)   The body of citizens of a state or country
"The Spanish people"
(4)   The common people generally
"Separate the warriors from the mass"
"Power to the people"


(5)   Fill with people or supply with inhabitants
"People a room"
"The government wanted to populate the remote area of the country"
(6)   Furnish with people
"The plains are sparsely populated"


From , , from people, from , (modern ), from "people", of unknown origin. Probably of non-Indo-European origin, from . Gradually ousted native lede, leed "people" (from lēode).

Originally a singular noun (eg. The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness --2 Samuel 17:29, King James Version), the plural aspect of people is due to associative influence from lede, leed, which had been plural since times (cf lēode "people, men, persons", plural of lēod "man, person").


  1. ; a body of human beings considered generally or collectively; a group of two or more persons.
  2. (plural peoples) Persons forming or belonging to a particular group, such as a nation, class, ethnic group, country, family, etc; folk; community.
  3. A group of persons regarded as being employees, followers, companions or subjects of a ruler.
  4. One's colleagues or employees.
    • 2001, Vince Flynn, Transfer of Power, p. 250:
      Kennedy looked down at Flood's desk and thought about the possibilities. "Can you locate him?" "I already have my people checking on all [it]."
    • 2008, Fern Michaels, Hokus Pokus‎, p. 184:
      Can I have one of my people get back to your people, Mr. President?" She tried to slam the phone back into the base and failed.
  5. A person's ancestors, relatives or family.
    My people lived through the Black Plague and the Thirty Years War.
  6. The mass of a community as distinguished from a special class (elite); the commonalty; the populace; the vulgar; the common crowd; the citizens.


collective, community, congregation, folk, nation, clan, tribe, race, class, caste, club fans, groupies, supporters kin populace, commoners, citizenry


  1. To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people; to populate.
    "He would not be alone, who all things can; / But peopled heaven with angels, earth with man." — Dryden
  2. To become populous or populated.
  3. To inhabit; to occupy; to populate.
    "As thick and numberless / As the gay motes that people the sunbeams." — Milton