ar·​ea | \ ˈer-ē-ə How to pronounce area (audio) , ˈā-rē-ə \

Definition of area

1 : the surface included within a set of lines specifically : the number of unit squares equal in measure to the surface — see Metric System Table, Weights and Measures Table
2 : the scope of a concept, operation, or activity : field the whole area of foreign policy
4 : a particular extent of space or surface or one serving a special function: such as
a : a part of the surface of the body
b : a geographic region
5 : a level piece of ground
6 : a part of the cerebral cortex having a particular function

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Examples of area in a Sentence

Settlers came to this area from the east. The group visited the area during a hunting trip. in the area surrounding the lake The storm caused damage in many areas along the coast. a bird found only in remote areas of the U.S. in many areas of the world He is the metropolitan area's most popular politician. He lived in an unfashionable area of the city. She set aside a work area in the kitchen. The dining area has extra windows.
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Recent Examples on the Web Temperatures will continue to drop this evening, reaching the low to mid-20s for most of the area. Emily Bamforth, cleveland, "Snow returns to Northeast Ohio today: What to expect," 16 Jan. 2020 Bobcats are found in the wild across the contiguous 48 states but were mostly pushed out of urban areas on the east coast. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Unusual Urban Bobcat Spotted in Washington, D.C.," 16 Jan. 2020 Other changes include the reconfiguration of the administration area for better functionality and access to conference rooms. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Weeks after leak, League City library building reopens," 16 Jan. 2020 The affected mines and processing operations are in arid regions a hundred or more miles inland of most of the areas hit by unprecedented bush fires. David Winning, WSJ, "Australia Is Dry as a Bone, and Miners Need Water to Stay Afloat," 16 Jan. 2020 Buford Dam Road at the southern end of Lake Lanier will be closed for repairs all day Wednesday, Jan. 22, and park entrances inside the work area will be inaccessible, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced. David Ibata, ajc, "Buford Dam Road at Lanier to be closed for repairs," 16 Jan. 2020 Authorities were conducting a sweep of the area where the person was reported to have been seen. NBC News, "Air National Guard base in Tennessee on lockdown after reports of suspicious person," 15 Jan. 2020 Last Saturday, more than 120 volunteers participated in a search of the Port Clinton area looking for the missing boy. Jon Stinchcomb, USA TODAY, "Body of missing Ohio teen found in neighbor’s chimney, police say," 14 Jan. 2020 Americans in fewer than 6 percent of metropolitan areas have experienced uninterrupted gains in personal income since 1970., "Boeing no longer world’s largest planemaker after 737 Max grounding," 14 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'area.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of area

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for area

Latin, open space, threshing floor; perhaps akin to Latin arēre to be dry — more at arid

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Time Traveler for area

Time Traveler

The first known use of area was circa 1552

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Statistics for area

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Area.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for area


How to pronounce area (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of area

: a part or section within a larger place
: a section of space within a building, room, etc.
: a part of the surface of something (such as a person's body or a piece of cloth)


ar·​ea | \ ˈer-ē-ə How to pronounce area (audio) \

Kids Definition of area

1 : region sense 1 a farming area
2 : the amount of surface included within limits the area of a triangle
3 : a part of the surface of something
4 : a field of activity or study the area of medicine


ar·​ea | \ ˈar-ē-ə, ˈer- How to pronounce area (audio) \

Medical Definition of area

: a part of the cerebral cortex having a particular function — see association area, motor area, sensory area

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More from Merriam-Webster on area

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for area

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with area

Spanish Central: Translation of area

Nglish: Translation of area for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of area for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about area

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