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First used in English in the mid 15th century; from Latin populosus (full of people, populous).



populous (comparative more populous, superlative most populous)

  1. Having a large population.
    China is the most populous country in the world.
  2. (of a language) Spoken by a large number of people.
    Chinese is the most populous language.
    • 1974, Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman, Nina M. Hyams, An Introduction to Language, →ISBN, page 524:
      The Sino-Tibetan family includes Mandarin, the most populous language in the world, spoken by more than one billion Chinese.
  3. Densely populated.
    The Nile delta is a populous region.
  4. Crowded with people.
    Airport departure halls are often populous places during the rush hours.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Do not confuse populace (a noun) with populous (an adjective).