esplanade

noun
es·​pla·​nade | \ ˈe-splə-ˌnäd How to pronounce esplanade (audio) , ˌe-splə-ˈnäd also ˌe-splə-ˈnād or ˈe-splə-ˌnād \

Definition of esplanade

: a level open stretch of paved or grassy ground especially : one designed for walking or driving along a shore

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Did You Know?

The history of "esplanade" is completely on the level. The Italians created "spianata," for a level stretch of ground, from their verb "spianare," which means "to make level." "Spianare" in turn comes from the Latin verb explanare, which also means "to make level" and which is the source of our verb "explain." Middle-French speakers borrowed "spianata" as "esplanade," and in the late 1500s we borrowed the French word. In the late 17th century, and even later, esplanades were associated with war. The word was used to refer to a clear space between a citadel and the nearest house of a town or to a slope around a fortification used for defense against attack. Today, however, esplanades are usually for enjoyment.

Examples of esplanade in a Sentence

a tree-lined esplanade by the river
Recent Examples on the Web The kings, Chauvet explained, would simply cross the esplanade to come and attend Mass. BostonGlobe.com, "PARIS (AP) — Notre Dame kept Christmas going even during two world wars — a beacon of hope amid the bloodshed.," 21 Dec. 2019 The kings, Chauvet explained, would simply cross the esplanade to come and attend Mass. BostonGlobe.com, "PARIS (AP) — Notre Dame kept Christmas going even during two world wars — a beacon of hope amid the bloodshed.," 21 Dec. 2019 The kings, Chauvet explained, would simply cross the esplanade to come and attend Mass. Washington Post, "Notre Dame Cathedral to miss first Christmas in centuries," 20 Dec. 2019 Guests may now choose to ride a resort tram from the Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals parking structures, or stroll across the 174-foot-long bridge for a short walk through Downtown Disney District to reach the Main Entrance esplanade. Advertorial, Orange County Register, "Feature: New Pedestrian Bridge Now Open, Connecting Disneyland Resort Parking to Downtown Disney District," 23 Oct. 2019 Spaniards watched as Franco’s family took the casket down the ten steps leading to the esplanade, with their lawyer and the prior. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "Franco’s Body Is Exhumed, as Spain Still Struggles to Confront the Past," 26 Oct. 2019 For many years, thousands of people commemorated the anniversary of his Nov. 20, 1975, death in Madrid's central Plaza de Oriente esplanade and at the Valley of the Fallen mausoleum outside of the capital. NBC News, "Spain begins exhuming late dictator Gen. Franco's remains," 24 Oct. 2019 The Costa Deliziosa cruise ship nearly smashed into an esplanade and a yacht in Venice on Sunday. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "Venice kicks out, issues $1,000 fine to German tourists for making coffee on bridge steps," 9 July 2019 The runway show was Carine Roitfeld's CR Runway concept with Italian luxury retailer LuisaViaRoma at the Piazzale Michelangelo esplanade. Anika Reed, USA TODAY, "Irina Shayk sports sexy black leather look on the runway amid Bradley Cooper split rumors," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'esplanade.' 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 esplanade

1591, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for esplanade

Middle French, from Italian spianata, from spianare to level, from Latin explanare — more at explain

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Time Traveler for esplanade

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The first known use of esplanade was in 1591

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Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Esplanade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/esplanade. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for esplanade

esplanade

noun
How to pronounce esplanade (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of esplanade

: a level, open area especially : an area for walking or driving along a shore

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