How to pronounce


The word "people" can be broken down into its sounds, which can help with proper pronunciation in both British and American English. Here are the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) transcriptions for each:

  • American Pronunciation: /ˈpiːpəl/
    • Begins with the /p/ sound, where both lips come together and then release.
    • Followed by the /ˈpiː/ sound, a long 'ee' sound as in "see." This is achieved by stretching the lips into a smile and placing the tongue high and close to the roof of the mouth.
    • Ends with the /pəl/ sound, starting with another /p/ sound, followed by the /əl/, which is the schwa sound plus the 'l.' The schwa sound is a quick, relaxed, and unstressed 'uh' sound, and the 'l' is produced by placing the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge (the gum ridge behind the upper front teeth).
  • British Pronunciation: /ˈpiːpəl/
    • The British pronunciation is very similar to the American, with the primary difference being in the quality of the vowels and the rhoticity of the speech. In the case of "people," the pronunciations align closely, focusing on the long 'ee' sound and the final unstressed schwa plus 'l.'

Definition of


People (n):

  1. Humans making up a group or gathering, considered collectively.
  2. The members of a particular nation, community, or ethnic group.

What does it mean


The word "people" comes from the Latin "populus," meaning "a people, nation; body of citizens; a multitude, crowd, throng." Its usage in English dates back to the late 13th century, originally denoting a body of persons united by community of culture, religion, or the like. Over time, its meaning expanded to include the sense of "humans," "persons," or "folk" in general, reflecting a broad and inclusive understanding of groups of human beings. The transition from the Latin "populus" to the Middle English "peple" and eventually to the modern English "people" involved phonetic and orthographic changes influenced by Old French "peuple," which also derives from Latin.

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