Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: peuple, from Latin populus; POPULAR


1 noun
peo‧ple1 S1 W1


[plural] used as the plural of 'person' to refer to men, women, and children:
How many people were at the meeting?
At least 40 people were killed.
the people who live next door
! see note at person

people in general

[plural] people in general, or people other than yourself:
I don't care what people think.
People can be really mean sometimes.
theatre/business etc people (=people who work or are involved in the theatre etc)
The hotel was full of business people.


[countable also + plural verb] the people who belong to a particular country, race, or area
the British/American etc people
He pledged that he would never lie to the American people.
people of
the Basques, a people of north western Spain
the peoples of Europe

the people

a) all the ordinary people in a country or a state, not the government or ruling class:
The people rebelled.
Rice formed the staple food of the common people.
The party try to portray the prime minister as a man of the people (=someone in power who understands or is like ordinary people).
the people's party/army etc (=belonging to or popular with the ordinary people)
the People's Liberation Army
Diana - the people's princess
b) American English used in court cases to represent the government of the US or of a particular state:
The People vs. Romero

somebody's people

a) PGCRR the people that a king or leader rules or leads:
The king ordered his people to prepare for war.
b) the people who work for a person or organization:
A manager's job is to make his or her people feel part of the system.
c) SSF old-fashioned your relatives, especially your parents, grandparents etc:
Do your people live round here?

of all people

spoken used to say that someone is the person you would least or most expect to do something:
Why should he, of all people, get a promotion?
You of all people should have known better.

to get attention

[plural] American English spoken informal used to get the attention of a group of people:
Listen up, people!

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