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Related to popular: Popular song
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contrary to popular opinion

Opposite to what is popularly or generally expected or believed. Usually used to introduce such a statement. Contrary to popular opinion, higher taxes end up benefiting people more than lower ones.

contrary to popular belief/opinion

something that you say before you make a statement that is the opposite of what most people believe Contrary to popular belief, bottled water is not always better than tap water.
See also: belief, contrary, popular
References in classic literature ?
Should a popular insurrection happen in one of the confederate states the others are able to quell it.
Still, they use it sometimes, and, now and then, one comes across it in popular newspapers.
In fact, the popular novel that the public calls healthy is always a thoroughly unhealthy production; and what the public call an unhealthy novel is always a beautiful and healthy work of art.
Waldron, the famous popular lecturer, rose amid a general murmur of applause.
The general characteristics of popular masonry, on the contrary, are progress, originality, opulence, perpetual movement.
That makes a popular song popular, and the time is coming when it will take the place of all other songs.
In the finale she fell into some of those grotesque attitudes which were at the time popular among the dancers in the theatres up-town, giving to the Bowery public the phantasies of the aristocratic theatre-going public, at reduced rates.
The early Greek epic -- that is, poetry as a natural and popular, and not (as it became later) an artificial and academic literary form -- passed through the usual three phases, of development, of maturity, and of decline.
But his heart failed him, and he cast about for some other way of annoying you, and making himself popular at the same time--for that's the point.
I have in this edition largely condensed and corrected some parts, and have added a little to others, in order to render the volume more fitted for popular reading; but I trust that naturalists will remember, that they must refer for details to the larger publications which comprise the scientific results of the Expedition.
At an early period also professional minstrels, called by the Anglo-Saxons scops or gleemen, disengaged themselves from the crowd and began to gain their living by wandering from village to village or tribe to tribe chanting to the harp either the popular ballads or more formal poetry of their own composition.
The marshal of the province in whose hands the law had placed the control of so many important public functions--the guardianship of wards (the very department which was giving Levin so much trouble just now), the disposal of large sums subscribed by the nobility of the province, the high schools, female, male, and military, and popular instruction on the new model, and finally, the district council--the marshal of the province, Snetkov, was a nobleman of the old school,--dissipating an immense fortune, a good-hearted man, honest after his own fashion, but utterly without any comprehension of the needs of modern days.
There was evidently something inside which excited the popular curiosity, and fed the popular appetite for horror.
Rumours of their disaffection, and of their leaning towards the popular cause, spread from mouth to mouth with astonishing rapidity; and whenever they were drawn up idly in the streets or squares, there was sure to be a crowd about them, cheering and shaking hands, and treating them with a great show of confidence and affection.
In this depressed state of the classical market, Mrs Jarley made extraordinary efforts to stimulate the popular taste, and whet the popular curiosity.