From Middle English puple, peple, peeple, from , from , peuple, pople, from , from Old Latin populus, from earlier poplus, from even earlier poplos, from Proto-Italic *poplos of unknown origin. Gradually ousted native English lede and, partially, folk.
Originally a singular noun (e.g. The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness –2 Samuel 17:29, King James Version, spelling modernized), the plural aspect of people is probably due to influence from Middle English lede, leed, a plural since Old English times (compare Old English leod ("people, men, persons"), plural of Old English lēod ("man, person")). See also lede, leod.
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