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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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.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.)


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; hence, cheapness; inferiority; vulgarity.
    This gallant laboring to avoid popularity falls into a habit of affectation. (Can we date this quote by Ben Jonson?).
  3. (archaic) Something which obtains, or is intended to obtain, the favor of the vulgar; claptrap.
    Popularities, and circumstances which [] sway the ordinary judgment. (Can we date this quote by Bacon?).
  4. (obsolete) The act of courting the favour of the people.
    Indicted [] for popularity and ambition. (Can we date this quote by Holland?).
  5. (archaic) Public sentiment; general passion.
    A little time be allowed for the madness of popularity to cease. (Can we date this quote by Bancroft?).

Derived termsEdit


Further readingEdit