people

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English peple, peeple, from Anglo-Norman people, from Old French pueple, peuple, pople (modern French peuple), from Latin populus (people), of unknown origin. Probably of non-Indo-European origin, from Etruscan. Gradually ousted native Middle English lede, leed (people) (from Old English lēode) - compare modern German Leute (people).

Originally a singular noun (e.g. The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness --2 Samuel 17:29, King James Version), the plural aspect of people is probably due to influence from Middle English lede, leed, a plural since Old English times (compare Old English lēode (people, men, persons), plural of Old English lēod (man, person)). See also lede, leod.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

people (countable and uncountable, plural peoples)

  1. Used as plural of person; a body of human beings considered generally or collectively; a group of two or more persons.
    • ca. 1607: XXII people was in this parrish drownd. (Plaque recording the Bristol Channel floods)
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:
      "What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! There is nothing like dancing after all. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished society."
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 12, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      There were many wooden chairs for the bulk of his visitors, and two wicker armchairs with red cloth cushions for superior people. From the packing-cases had emerged some Indian clubs, […], and all these articles […] made a scattered and untidy decoration that Mrs. Clough assiduously dusted and greatly cherished.
    • 2013 June 29, “A punch in the gut”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 72-3: 
      Mostly, the microbiome is beneficial. It helps with digestion and enables people to extract a lot more calories from their food than would otherwise be possible. Research over the past few years, however, has implicated it in diseases from atherosclerosis to asthma to autism.
    Why do so many people commit suicide?
  2. (plural peoplesPersons forming or belonging to a particular group, such as a nation, class, ethnic group, country, family, etc; folk; community.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      “[…] the awfully hearty sort of Christmas cards that people do send to other people that they don't know at all well. You know. The kind that have mottoes like
        Here's rattling good luck and roaring good cheer, / With lashings of food and great hogsheads of beer. […]”
    • 2013 June 1, “Towards the end of poverty”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 11: 
      But poverty’s scourge is fiercest below $1.25 (the average of the 15 poorest countries’ own poverty lines, measured in 2005 dollars and adjusted for differences in purchasing power): people below that level live lives that are poor, nasty, brutish and short.
  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.
    • 2013 June 21, Oliver Burkeman, “The tao of tech”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 27: 
      The dirty secret of the internet is that all this distraction and interruption is immensely profitable. Web companies like to boast about […], or offering services that let you [] "share the things you love with the world" and so on. But the real way to build a successful online business is to be better than your rivals at undermining people's control of their own attention.

Usage notes[edit]

When used to mean "persons" (meaning 1 below), "people" today takes a plural verb. However, in the past it could take a singular verb (see image).

Plaque recording the Bristol Channel floods, 1607 New Style. Caption reads in part, "XXII PEOPLE WAS IN THIS PARRISH DROWND".

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

people (third-person singular simple present peoples, present participle peopling, simple past and past participle peopled)

  1. (transitive) To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people; to populate.
  2. (intransitive) To become populous or populated.
  3. (transitive) To inhabit; to occupy; to populate.
    • a. 1645, John Milton, Il Penseroso, lines 7–8:
      [] / As thick and numberless / As the gay motes that people the Sun Beams, / []

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

References[edit]

Statistics[edit]


French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English people.

Noun[edit]

people m (plural peoples)

  1. (countable) A celebrity, a famous person.
    • 2004, Emmanuel Davidenkoff and Didier Hassoux, Luc Ferry: une comédie du pouvoir, 2002–2004 (Luc Ferry: A Comedy of Power, 2002–2004), Hachette, ISBN 9782012357785,
      Le novice en politique contre le mammouth « Éducation nationale ». Ça mérite la sympathie. Et puis c’est un people. Les gens aiment et détestent à la fois. Ils sont fascinés. Le bonheur sur papier glacé. Les vacances entre Saint-Trop’, la Martinique et Deauville.
      The political novice against the mammoth "National Education". That merited sympathy. Then, too, he was a celebrity. People loved and hated at the same time. They were fascinated. Happiness on ice paper. Vacations between Saint-Tropez, Martinique, and Deauville.
    • 2008, Martine Delvaux, "L’égoïsme romantique de Frédéric Beigbeder" ("Frédéric Beigbeder's L’égoïsme romantique (Romantic Egotism)"), in Alain-Philippe Durand (editor), Frédéric Beigbeder et ses doubles (Frédéric Beigbeder and His Doubles), Rodopi, ISBN 978-90-420-2472-4, page 95:
      Oscar Dufresne est un people anti-people, un macho impuissant, un intellectuel qui ne dit rien d’intelligent, un faux sadique et un faux masochiste, un anti-autobiographe.
      Oscar Dufresne is a celebrity who is anti-celebrity, a powerless macho man, an intellectual who says nothing intelligent, a fake sadist and a fake masochist, an anti-autobiographer.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The French noun people is frequently italicized as a loanword, as in the quotations above.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]