From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

People \Peo"ple\ (p[=e]"p'l), n. [OE. peple, people, OF. pueple,
   F. peuple, fr. L. populus. Cf. Populage, Public,
   1. The body of persons who compose a community, tribe,
      nation, or race; an aggregate of individuals forming a
      whole; a community; a nation.
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            Unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
                                                  --Gen. xlix.
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            The ants are a people not strong.     --Prov. xxx.
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            Before many peoples, and nations, and tongues.
                                                  --Rev. x. 11.
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            Earth's monarchs are her peoples.     --Whitter.
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            A government of all the people, by all the people,
            for all the people.                   --T. Parker.
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   Note: Peopleis a collective noun, generally construed with a
         plural verb, and only occasionally used in the plural
         form (peoples), in the sense of nations or races.
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   2. Persons, generally; an indefinite number of men and women;
      folks; population, or part of population; as, country
      people; -- sometimes used as an indefinite subject or
      verb, like on in French, and man in German; as, people in
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            People were tempted to lend by great premiums.
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            People have lived twenty-four days upon nothing but
            water.                                --Arbuthnot.
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   3. The mass of community as distinguished from a special
      class; the commonalty; the populace; the vulgar; the
      common crowd; as, nobles and people.
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            And strive to gain his pardon from the people.
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   4. With a possessive pronoun:
      (a) One's ancestors or family; kindred; relations; as, my
          people were English.
      (b) One's subjects; fellow citizens; companions;
          followers. "You slew great number of his people."
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   Syn: People, Nation.

   Usage: When speaking of a state, we use people for the mass
          of the community, as distinguished from their rulers,
          and nation for the entire political body, including
          the rulers. In another sense of the term, nation
          describes those who are descended from the same stock;
          and in this sense the Germans regard themselves as one
          nation, though politically subject to different forms
          of government.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

People \Peo"ple\ (p[=e]"p'l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Peopled
   (p[=e]"p'ld) p. pr. & vb. n.; Peopling (p[=e]"p'l[i^]ng).]
   [Cf. OF. popler, puepler, F. puepler. Cf. Populate.]
   To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people;
   to populate. "Peopled heaven with angels." --Dryden.
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         As the gay motes that people the sunbeams. --Milton.
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