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People vs. Peoples: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
"People" refers to a group of individuals, whereas "Peoples" denotes multiple groups of individuals, often from different cultures or nations.
People vs. Peoples

Key Differences

The word "People" is commonly used to describe a group of individuals, often within the same community or nation. In contrast, "Peoples" is a term used to refer to multiple distinct groups, each with their own unique cultural or ethnic identities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
When discussing demographics, "People" can refer to the inhabitants of a specific area, implying a singular group with shared characteristics. "Peoples," however, highlights the diversity among different groups, acknowledging the varied backgrounds and cultures they represent.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
In historical contexts, "People" often signifies a collective entity, such as the people of a country. On the other hand, "Peoples" is used to differentiate between various ethnic or cultural groups, especially in discussions about indigenous or minority groups.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
"People" can also be used in a more general sense, referring to human beings collectively. Conversely, "Peoples" is more specific and is employed when recognizing the distinct identities and traditions of different groups.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
In terms of linguistic usage, "People" is a more commonly used term in everyday language, whereas "Peoples" is often reserved for formal or academic discourse, particularly in anthropology, sociology, and history.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A group of individuals from a shared context or community.
Multiple groups, each with distinct cultural or ethnic identities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Usage Context

Common in everyday language and general discussions.
Used in formal or academic settings, especially in social sciences.
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Number

Singular in nature, referring to one group.
Plural, indicating several distinct groups.
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Connotation

Often implies homogeneity within the group.
Highlights diversity and differences among groups.
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Nov 26, 2023

Example Usage

"The people of New York are diverse."
"Indigenous peoples of the Americas have varied cultures."
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
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People and Peoples Definitions

People

Individuals or persons collectively.
People need to be more environmentally conscious.
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Nov 17, 2023

Peoples

Various populations with different identities.
The conference discussed the rights of indigenous peoples.
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Nov 17, 2023

People

Human beings in general.
People can achieve great things when they work together.
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Nov 17, 2023

Peoples

Distinct ethnic or cultural groups.
The peoples of the Pacific Islands have rich traditions.
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Nov 17, 2023

People

Humans considered as a group or in indefinite numbers. Often treated as a plural of person, alone and in compounds
People were dancing in the street. I met all sorts of people. This book is not intended for laypeople.
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Peoples

Groups from different nations or regions.
The peoples of Europe have diverse languages.
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Nov 17, 2023

People

The mass of ordinary persons; the populace. Used with the
"those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes" (Thomas Jefferson).
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

Multiple communities with unique characteristics.
Ancient peoples had different ways of living.
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Nov 17, 2023

People

A body of persons living in the same country under one national government; a nationality.
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

Different societal groups in historical contexts.
The peoples of the Roman Empire included many cultures.
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Nov 17, 2023

People

The citizens of a political unit, such as a nation or state; the electorate. Used with the.
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

Humans considered as a group or in indefinite numbers. Often treated as a plural of person, alone and in compounds
People were dancing in the street. I met all sorts of people. This book is not intended for laypeople.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Pl. peo·ples A body of persons sharing a common religion, culture, or language
The peoples of central Asia.
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

The mass of ordinary persons; the populace. Used with the
"those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes" (Thomas Jefferson).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

People

Persons with regard to their residence, class, profession, or group
City people.
Farming people.
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

A body of persons living in the same country under one national government; a nationality.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Persons subordinate to or loyal to a ruler, superior, or employer
The manager would like to introduce you to our people in the regional office.
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

The citizens of a political unit, such as a nation or state; the electorate. Used with the.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

A person's family, relatives, or ancestors
Where are your people from?.
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

Pl. peo·ples A body of persons sharing a common religion, culture, or language
The peoples of central Asia.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

People

(Informal) Animals or other beings distinct from humans
Rabbits and squirrels are the furry little people of the woods.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

Persons with regard to their residence, class, profession, or group
City people.
Farming people.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

People

To settle or inhabit with people; populate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

Persons subordinate to or loyal to a ruler, superior, or employer
The manager would like to introduce you to our people in the regional office.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

People

To be present in or on (a place)
"The stores ... are peopled by serious shoppers" (Perri Klass).
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

A person's family, relatives, or ancestors
Where are your people from?.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Used as plural of person; a body of human beings considered generally or collectively; a group of two or more persons.
There were so many people at the restaurant last night.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

(Informal) Animals or other beings distinct from humans
Rabbits and squirrels are the furry little people of the woods.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

People

(countable) Persons forming or belonging to a particular group, such as a nation, class, ethnic group, country, family, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

To settle or inhabit with people; populate.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

A group of persons regarded as being employees, followers, companions or subjects of a ruler.
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

To be present in or on (a place)
"The stores ... are peopled by serious shoppers" (Perri Klass).
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Oct 19, 2023

People

One's colleagues or employees.
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Oct 19, 2023

Peoples

Plural of people
The course studies the history of Africa and the peoples who lived there.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

A person's ancestors, relatives or family.
My people lived through the Black Plague and the Thirty Years War.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

The mass of a community as distinguished from a special class (elite); the commonalty; the populace; the vulgar; the common crowd; the citizens.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Plural of person.
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People

(transitive) To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people; to populate.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

(intransitive) To become populous or populated.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

(transitive) To inhabit; to occupy; to populate.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

To interact with people; to socialize.
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People

The body of persons who compose a community, tribe, nation, or race; an aggregate of individuals forming a whole; a community; a nation.
Unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
The ants are a people not strong.
Before many peoples, and nations, and tongues.
Earth's monarchs are her peoples.
A government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

People

Persons, generally; an indefinite number of men and women; folks; population, or part of population; as, country people; - sometimes used as an indefinite subject or verb, like on in French, and man in German; as, people in adversity.
People were tempted to lend by great premiums.
People have lived twenty-four days upon nothing but water.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

The mass of community as distinguished from a special class; the commonalty; the populace; the vulgar; the common crowd; as, nobles and people.
And strive to gain his pardon from the people.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

One's ancestors or family; kindred; relations; as, my people were English.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people; to populate.
As the gay motes that people the sunbeams.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

(plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively;
Old people
There were at least 200 people in the audience
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Oct 19, 2023

People

The body of citizens of a state or country;
The Spanish people
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Oct 19, 2023

People

The common people generally;
Separate the warriors from the mass
Power to the people
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Members of a family line;
His people have been farmers for generations
Are your people still alive?
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People

Fill with people or supply with inhabitants;
People a room
The government wanted to populate the remote area of the country
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People

Make one's home or live in;
She resides officially in Iceland
I live in a 200-year old house
These people inhabited all the islands that are now deserted
The plains are sparsely populated
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

People

Inhabitants of a particular area.
The people of Tokyo are known for their politeness.
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Nov 17, 2023

People

Members of a specific group or community.
The people in my yoga class enjoy meditation.
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Nov 17, 2023

People

The citizens of a country.
The American people voted in the elections.
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Nov 17, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Does "people" imply a singular or plural group?

It can imply both, depending on context, but is grammatically singular.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Can "people" be used for any group?

Yes, it's a general term for any group of individuals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Is "peoples" a common term in everyday language?

No, it's more formal and often used in academic contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

What does "people" mean?

It refers to a group of individuals, often sharing a common characteristic.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Can "people" refer to the citizens of a country?

Yes, it's often used to refer to the inhabitants of a specific nation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

How is "peoples" different from "people"?

"Peoples" denotes multiple distinct groups, each with unique identities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

When is "peoples" used in writing?

Typically in discussions about different cultural or ethnic groups.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Is "peoples" used in historical contexts?

Yes, especially when referring to different groups in history.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Are "people" and "peoples" interchangeable?

No, they have distinct meanings and uses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Can "peoples" refer to groups within a single country?

Yes, if they have distinct cultural or ethnic identities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

How do you pluralize "people"?

"People" is already plural; the singular is "person."
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Do "peoples" have to be from different countries?

Not necessarily, they can be from different regions or cultural backgrounds.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Is "people" a collective noun?

Yes, it refers to a collective group of individuals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Can "people" be used to refer to humanity in general?

Yes, it's often used in a general sense for all humans.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Is "peoples" a formal term?

Yes, it's more formal and specific than "people."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Is "people" used in legal contexts?

Yes, particularly in the context of citizens' rights and obligations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Can "peoples" be used in political discussions?

Yes, especially when discussing the rights of different groups.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Does "people" have different meanings in sociology?

It can, often referring to a specific demographic group.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Is "peoples" common in anthropology studies?

Yes, it's frequently used to discuss different cultural or ethnic groups in anthropology.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Do "peoples" always refer to ethnic groups?

Often, but it can also refer to any distinct cultural groups.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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