Would anyone like to comprehensively explain? I am not sure peoples word exist or not. Kindly request to you all please explain about this.


5 Answers 5


We use the word "peoples" to talk about groups of specific ethnicities, races, communities, or nations.

Estimates put the total population of indigenous peoples from 220 million to 350 million.

"People" can also be used to talk about the human population in general, or a group of 'persons' usually with some shared link between them. Even if they're from the same ethnicity, if you're only speaking about individuals you would say "people".

The people at the pet centre helped me find a dog.

  • Since "peoples" is plural, wouldn't it actually refer to more than one group?
    – sumelic
    Apr 25, 2016 at 15:49
  • Yes, @sumelic, I've edited the answer to fix that issue as this answer is being used as an example to close others as duplicates. Feb 8, 2017 at 19:02

It's simple:

Two or more persons are referred to as people.

Two or more of these groups of people are called peoples.

Note, however, that the grouping could be characterised by their location, beliefs, language etc.


People and peoples -both are possible.

People - more than one person, a group
Peoples - more than one group of such people

People protested the government decision

And, more than one group of ethnicity/race is 'peoples'

In 1991, Australia began a formal process of reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

You have included a tag 'spoken-english'. It is worth noting that when you 'hear' someone saying 'peoples' it could be a possessive mass noun.

People’s vote too divisive, says Barnett


There are two word, with different histories.

The word "person" has a Latin origin, and means "A single human" (and perhaps originally "a character in a play"). It has been used in this sense since the 12th century. It has a regular plural "persons".

The word people has a separate origin, though also Latin, and originally meant "a crowd", "a population", or "the folk". It carries the sense of the commoners, not the nobility. The word entered English in the 13th century. It also has a regular plural "peoples".

These two words, with similar sounds and meanings, became merged, to the point that one now treats "people" as an irregular plural of "person", and the regular plural (persons) is not much used. The older meaning of people is still current and so now:

  • Person means 1 human. ("One person in a room")
  • People can be the plural of person ("Three people in a room")
  • People can also mean a group persons, a population, or ethnicity. (The people of France)
  • Peoples is the plural of people, in this second sense. (The peoples of Africa)

This merging of words with similar meanings has happened on multiple occasions in English and explains several irregularities (for example "Go-went", "Be-is-was").

  • Ad in some technical usage, for example in law, "persons" is still used as a plural of "person" in contrast to "people". Aug 10, 2017 at 22:54
  • Please note paragraph 2 where this is already mentioned.
    – James K
    Aug 11, 2017 at 7:00

Yes both the words exist and they have different meaning.

peoples is used when we talk of the people of different countries. As an example: The peoples of all the countries should work for peace.

And people is what we use in general sense. There are many people in the garden. People in itself refers to a collective noun.

  • only peoples used for people of different countries. can you give one more example Sep 28, 2015 at 8:54

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