tr.v. pop·u·lat·ed, pop·u·lat·ing, pop·u·lates
1. To supply with inhabitants, as by colonization.
2. To live in; inhabit: creatures that populate the ocean depths.
3. Computers To fill (an empty field or array) with data.
4. Chemistry To fill (an electron shell of an atom) with electrons.
[Medieval Latin populāre, populāt-, from Latin populus, the people; see POPULAR.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.