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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for popularity in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913)


popular +‎ -ity, from Latin popularitas (an effort to please the people).


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌpɒp.jəˈlæɹ.ɪ.ti/
  • (file)


popularity (usually uncountable, plural popularities)

  1. The quality or state of being popular; especially, the state of being esteemed by, or of being in favor with, the people at large
    This destination has increased in popularity after great reviews in the guide books.
    Politicians are rarely known for their popularity.
    The massive popularity of the book led to it being adapted into a movie.
  2. (archaic) The quality or state of being adapted or pleasing to common, poor, or vulgar people
    • 1600, Ben Jonson, Every Man Out of His Humour
      So this Gallant, labouring to avoid Popularity, falls into a habit of Affectation, Ten thousand times hatefuller than the former.
    1. (by extension) cheapness; inferiority; vulgarity.
  3. (archaic) Something which obtains, or is intended to obtain, the favor of the vulgar; claptrap.
    • 1597, Francis Bacon, The Colours or Good and Evil
      Popularities, and circumstances which [] sway the ordinary judgment.
  4. (obsolete) The act of courting the favour of the people.
    • 1603, Philemon Holland, translator, Moralia, by Plutarch
      Cato (the younger) charged Muraena, and indicted him in open court for popularity and ambition.
  5. (archaic) Public sentiment; general passion.
    • 1834-1874, George Bancroft, History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American Continent.
      A little time be allowed for the madness of popularity to cease.

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