par·​cel | \ ˈpär-səl How to pronounce parcel (audio) \

Definition of parcel

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a tract or plot of land a parcel of real estate
2a : a wrapped bundle : package The parcel was shipped today.
b : a unit of salable merchandise a parcel in an auction
3 : a company, collection, or group of persons, animals, or things : lot The whole story was a parcel of lies. a parcel of giddy young kids— Mark Twain
4a : fragment, portion sold his stocks by parcels
b : a volume of a fluid (such as air) considered as a single entity within a greater volume of the same fluid


parceled or parcelled; parceling or parcelling\ ˈpär-​s(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce parcelling (audio) \

Definition of parcel (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to divide into parts : distribute often used with out
2 : to make up into a parcel : wrap
3 : to cover (something, such as a rope) with strips of canvas or tape



Definition of parcel (Entry 3 of 4)



Definition of parcel (Entry 4 of 4)


Keep scrolling for more

Examples of parcel in a Sentence

Noun a parcel of real estate her absurd explanation for the collision was a parcel of lies
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Cleveland campus sits on a three-acre parcel on Powell Boulevard and 26th Avenue. oregonlive, "As Portland Public Schools envisions $1.4 billion bond campaign, architects reveal plans to remake/rebuild 3 high schools," 17 Jan. 2020 The consent judgment, if approved by the council, allows the parcels on Eaton and Oxford streets to be used for parking. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Settlement would allow Vinsetta Garage to raze homes for parking," 6 Jan. 2020 The local franchisee of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers paid $910,000 for a 1.05 acre parcel on Ala. 181 in Spanish Fort, according to Charlie Christmas of Christmas Properties, who handled the transaction. Kathy Jumper, al, "Restaurant building sells for big bucks," 24 Nov. 2019 The property includes parcels on Silver Lane and Forbes Street and is appraised at about $4.5 million. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Long-awaited demolition of Showcase cineplex begins in East Hartford," 4 Nov. 2019 Hochberg’s company, Waukegan Petrosites LLC, purchased three parcels on the corner for $2.135 million in September 2015. Jason Grotto, ProPublica, "From Truck Stops to Elections, a River of Gambling Money Is Flooding Waukegan," 8 Aug. 2019 Audubon officials say the property is one of the largest, most ecologically valuable parcels on the periphery of the park. USA TODAY, "Milestone rhino, Bigfoot shooting, jailed for feeding cats: News from around our 50 states," 1 Aug. 2019 The Health Ministry said that the illness could not be contracted from eating kimchi imported from China or receiving a parcel from China. Washington Post, "Kimchi, cow poop and other spurious coronavirus remedies," 2 Feb. 2020 About one mile from where the Beer Garden once stood, Cronin has embarked on an ambitious plan to turn a moribund parcel at 24 Drydock Avenue into a gleaming, 123,000-square-foot structure, with ample room for labs and high-tech firms. Jon Chesto,, "Beyond restaurants: Jon Cronin scores victories at City Hall, State House in new ventures," 23 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Then, the Party proceeded to parcel the results out in chunks over the ensuing days, only to end up having to retract and amend some of those partial figures, as errors in the data were identified. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "On the Trail: Making Sense of the Mess in Iowa," 7 Feb. 2020 Trump’s legal team will then get 24 hours as well, parceled out in the same manner. Brian Barrett, Wired, "How to Watch Donald Trump’s Impeachment Trial," 21 Jan. 2020 The official count of Americans every 10 years not only determines the number of local representatives for Congress and the Statehouse, data is used to parcel out billions of dollars of tax money annually for a variety of local programs. Rich Exner, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County, Cleveland among local governments laying groundwork for a complete 2020 census count; here’s why," 20 Jan. 2020 The land was parcelled for real estate development. S. Gopikrishna Warrier, Quartz India, "Like unchecked growth, economic decline too can have environmental fallouts in India," 20 Jan. 2020 Details of their choice to step back from royal duties have been carefully parceled out over the last two weeks, including yesterday’s official statements from The Queen and Buckingham Palace. Cori Murray, Essence, "Just Call Them Meghan And Harry," 19 Jan. 2020 In the ensuing hours, a befuddling back-and-forth followed, featuring a mysterious retraction, an apology and a pair of statements parceled out by company spokespeople. Washington Post, "Article or ad? Teen Vogue removes glowing Facebook story without explanation," 9 Jan. 2020 To protect its strike fund, the UAW doesn't start parceling out strike benefits to members until Day 8. Chris Isidore, CNN, "GM workers start collecting $250 daily strike pay as stoppage reaches Day 8," 23 Sep. 2019 Under current rules, the recipients can parcel out the required minimum distributions from the accounts over the course of their actuarial lifetimes. Philip Demuth, WSJ, "Congress Is Coming for Your IRA," 9 July 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of parcel


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for parcel

Noun, Verb, Adjective, and Adverb

Middle English, from Anglo-French parcele, from Vulgar Latin *particella, from Latin particula small part — more at particle

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about parcel

Time Traveler for parcel

Time Traveler

The first known use of parcel was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for parcel

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Parcel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for parcel


How to pronounce parcel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of parcel

: a section or area of land
: a box or large envelope that is usually given, sent, or delivered to a person


par·​cel | \ ˈpär-səl How to pronounce parcel (audio) \

Kids Definition of parcel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : a plot of land


parceled or parcelled; parceling or parcelling

Kids Definition of parcel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to divide and give out by parts We parceled out the candy.


par·​cel | \ ˈpär-səl How to pronounce parcel (audio) \

Legal Definition of parcel

: a tract or plot of land

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on parcel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for parcel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parcel

Spanish Central: Translation of parcel

Nglish: Translation of parcel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of parcel for Arabic Speakers

Comments on parcel

What made you want to look up parcel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!