es·​pla·​nade | \ ˈe-splə-ˌnäd, 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 lovely Jardins de l'Europe and festive esplanade both give way to a sandy bay fringed with old-timey paddle boats, some of which are topped with individual waterslides. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Exploring Annecy, the Venice of the French Alps," 7 Nov. 2018 Tens of thousands of people cheered Francis at an open air Mass in late morning at an esplanade along the port city's waterfront. Fox News, "Pope paying tribute in Sicily to priest slain by Mafia," 15 Sep. 2018 Still, there was no stopping the heavenly dumping, which turned much of Irvington Boulevard's esplanade to muck, disintegrated reporters' notebooks into pulp and overwhelmed stormed drains. Zach Despart, Houston Chronicle, "Undaunted by downpours, Lindale Park holds July 4 parade," 4 July 2018 Still, there was no stopping the heavenly dumping, which turned much of Irvington Boulevard’s esplanade to muck, disintegrated reporters’ notebooks into pulp and overwhelmed stormed drains. Zach Despart, Houston Chronicle, "Undaunted by downpours, Lindale Park holds July 4 parade," 4 July 2018 The development features a waterfront esplanade, rooftop terrace and fitness facility. Lara Korte, WSJ, "City Wants to Rezone Brooklyn’s Gowanus Area to Draw More Development," 18 June 2018 In the tony reaches of Manhattan there is a storied penthouse salon overlooking the Plaza Hotel and the esplanade of Fifth Avenue. Sarah Maslin Nir, Town & Country, "Strands of Truth: Hair, Self-Expression, and Identity," 23 Apr. 2018 The garden features a Japanese pond and garden as well as an esplanade lined with some of its 200 cherry trees. Beth J. Harpaz, Houston Chronicle, "Cherry blossoms, tulips and lilacs: It's flower festival time," 16 Mar. 2018 Witnesses on a waterfront esplanade near where the aircraft went down said the helicopter was flying noisily, then suddenly dropped into the water and quickly submerged. USA TODAY, "Helicopter crash pilot issued mayday before NYC crash," 12 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for esplanade

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for esplanade

The first known use of esplanade was in 1591

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English Language Learners Definition of esplanade

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

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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