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population

[pop-yuh-ley-shuh n] /ˌpɒp yəˈleɪ ʃən/
noun
1.
the total number of persons inhabiting a country, city, or any district or area.
2.
the body of inhabitants of a place:
The population of the city opposes the addition of fluorides to the drinking water.
3.
the number or body of inhabitants in a place belonging to a specific social, cultural, socioeconomic, ethnic, or racial subgroup:
the native population; the working-class population.
4.
Statistics. any finite or infinite aggregation of individuals, not necessarily animate, subject to a statistical study.
5.
Ecology.
  1. the assemblage of a specific type of organism living in a given area.
  2. all the individuals of one species in a given area.
6.
the act or process of populating:
Population of the interior was hampered by dense jungles.
Origin
1570-1580
1570-80; < Late Latin populātiōn- (stem of populātiō). See populate, -ion
Related forms
populational, adjective
populationless, adjective
repopulation, noun
subpopulation, noun
superpopulation, noun
Can be confused
populace, population, populous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for populations
  • Moreover, these little bivalves eat plankton, so do nothing to deplete other fish populations.
  • Beetle populations can build up so fast that beekeepers don't notice until it's too late.
  • Handpicking is an effective way to reduce adult populations.
  • To reduce food sources for ants, keep aphid and whitefly populations under control.
  • The secret is to control them before populations get out of hand.
  • By this time, too, the papers were full of accounts of the destruction of civilian populations.
  • It is usually acceptable and often useful to take out individual animals to improve the general health of the populations.
  • Wars in this region have posed the largest threat to gorilla populations.
  • Researchers may have glimpsed a means by which the tuberculosis bacterium could adapt itself to different human populations.
  • The researchers seek to discover to what degree these and other factors are diminishing firefly populations.
British Dictionary definitions for populations

population

/ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən/
noun
1.
(sometimes functioning as pl) all the persons inhabiting a country, city, or other specified place
2.
the number of such inhabitants
3.
(sometimes functioning as pl) all the people of a particular race or class in a specific area: the Chinese population of San Francisco
4.
the act or process of providing a place with inhabitants; colonization
5.
(ecology) a group of individuals of the same species inhabiting a given area
6.
(astronomy) either of two main groups of stars classified according to age and location. Population I consists of younger metal-rich hot white stars, many occurring in galactic clusters and forming the arms of spiral galaxies. Stars of population II are older, the brightest being red giants, and are found in the centre of spiral and elliptical galaxies in globular clusters
7.
(statistics) Also called universe. the entire finite or infinite aggregate of individuals or items from which samples are drawn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for populations

population

n.

1610s, from Late Latin populationem (nominative populatio) "a people; a multitude," as if from Latin populus "a people" (see people (n.)). Population explosion is first attested 1953.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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populations in Medicine

population pop·u·la·tion (pŏp'yə-lā'shən)
n.

  1. The total number of people inhabiting a specific area.

  2. The set of individuals, items, or data from which a statistical sample is taken.

  3. All the organisms that constitute a specific group or occur in a specified habitat.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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populations in Science
population
  (pŏp'yə-lā'shən)   
A group of individuals of the same species occupying a particular geographic area. Populations may be relatively small and closed, as on an island or in a valley, or they may be more diffuse and without a clear boundary between them and a neighboring population of the same species. For species that reproduce sexually, the members of a population interbreed either exclusively with members of their own population or, where populations intergrade, to a greater degree than with members of other populations. See also deme.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for populations

population

in human biology, the whole number of inhabitants occupying an area (such as a country or the world) and continually being modified by increases (births and immigrations) and losses (deaths and emigrations). As with any biological population, the size of a human population is limited by the supply of food, the effect of diseases, and other environmental factors. Human populations are further affected by social customs governing reproduction and by the technological developments, especially in medicine and public health, that have reduced mortality and extended the life span.

Learn more about population with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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