Population means the number of people in a geographic area. It can also be used for subgroups of people or animals. The city's population has passed 8 million––who knows what that means for the rat population living off their garbage? Ugh.

The word population––and also the word populace––derive from the Latin populus, "people." To remember that population is connected to people, think about the words popular, populist, pop culture, pop music. Don't think about pop corn––unless you're thinking about the movie-going population that lives on it.

Primary Meanings of population

the people who inhabit a territory or state
(statistics) the entire aggregation of items from which samples can be drawn
Full Definitions of population

n the people who inhabit a territory or state

“the population seemed to be well fed and clothed”
home front
the civilian population (and their activities) of a country at war
Type of:
(plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively

n a group of organisms of the same species inhabiting a given area

“they hired hunters to keep down the deer population
too much population
Type of:
group, grouping
any number of entities (members) considered as a unit

n the number of inhabitants (either the total number or the number of a particular race or class) in a given place (country or city etc.)

“people come and go, but the population of this town has remained approximately constant for the past decade”
“the African-American population of Salt Lake City has been increasing”
Type of:
integer, whole number
any of the natural numbers (positive or negative) or zero

n the act of populating (causing to live in a place)

“he deplored the population of colonies with convicted criminals”
Type of:
colonisation, colonization, settlement
the act of colonizing; the establishment of colonies

n (statistics) the entire aggregation of items from which samples can be drawn

“it is an estimate of the mean of the population
a population that is part of a larger population
Type of:
accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, collection
several things grouped together or considered as a whole

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