Peo"ple (?), n. [OE. peple, people, OF. pueple, F. peuple, fr. L. populus. Cf. Populage, Public, Pueblo.] 1. 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.
Gen. xlix. 10.

The ants are a people not strong.
Prov. xxx. 25.

Before many peoples, and nations, and tongues.
Rev. x. 11.

Earth's monarchs are her peoples.

A government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people.
T. Parker.

Peopleis a collective noun, generally construed with a plural verb, and only occasionally used in the plural form (peoples), in the sense of nations or races.

2. 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.

3. The mass of comunity 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.

4. With a possessive pronoun: (a) One's ancestors or family; kindred; relations; as, my people were English. (b) One's subjects; fellow citizens; companions; followers. "You slew great number of his people." Shak.

Syn. -- People, Nation. When speaking of a state, we use people for the mass of the community, as distinguished from their rulers, and nation for the entire political body, including the rulers. In another sense of the term, nation describes those who are descended from the same stock; and in this sense the Germans regard themselves as one nation, though politically subject to different forms of government.

Peo"ple (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Peopled p. pr. & vb. n. Peopling (?).] [Cf. OF. popler, puepler, F. puepler. Cf. Populate.] To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people; to populate. "Peopled heaven with angels." Dryden.

As the gay motes that people the sunbeams.