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)

: partly

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Examples of parcel in a Sentence


a parcel of real estate her absurd explanation for the collision was a parcel of lies

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 1-acre parcel, located inside Beltway 8 north of Interstate 10 near Kempwood, will house a 1,500-square-foot retail location for Regions Bank. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Regions Bank inks deal for ground-up location in Spring Branch area," 12 June 2019 Every parcel, package, and misshapen bundle that goes aboard is branded with the owner’s symbol. Rowan Moore Gerety, Harper's magazine, "Downstream," 10 June 2019 For the last 15 years, the Champions League final has been contested between clubs from only four countries and the competition can feel a little like a game of pass-the-parcel between the Superclubs. 1843, "A league of their own: how English clubs conquered Europe," 7 June 2019 Best Buy Carpet and Granite Tops, 585 S. Route 59, Aurora, owns the parcels south of the church and has been seeking to annex into Naperville to build a new store and more development on the land for more than a year. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Naperville to consider annexing Route 59 church to make way for commerical development," 12 July 2018 As of right now, Google owns roughly 50 of the acres in the 240-acre development area, including nine parcels of property the city council approved selling to Google for $67 million. Ingrid Burrington, The Atlantic, "Who Gets to Live in Silicon Valley?," 25 June 2018 Real estate investment group Arts & Crafts Holdings L.L.C. has closed on the last two parcels put up for sale last year by property investor Mark Rubin in the north-of-Center-City district where it’s been investing heavily. Jacob Adelman,, "Final buildings sell from big portfolio of properties north of Center City," 21 June 2018 City dignitaries on Tuesday gathered at Oxbow Landing’s last parcel for a joint groundbreaking and ribbon cutting on two more of its last developments. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "Oxbow Landing commerical growth continues," 12 June 2018 On the waterfront’s last undeveloped parcel, Mr. Novak in the 2000s developed HarbourSide, a $150-million, mixed-use glass structure that included a new Swedish embassy building. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, "Alan Novak, real estate developer and venture capitalist, dies at 83," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

White women, after all, have had a hand throughout history in supporting and defending misogynistic and racist politicians and policies, and have helped ensure that the scant rights parceled out are not also extended to all women. Naureen Khan, The Atlantic, "The Tony-Nominated Play That Savages the U.S. Constitution," 8 June 2019 One effect of this parceling out was that reading the novel of adultery began to resemble committing adultery: the slow unfolding of a stranger’s character, the agonizing sense of being at the mercy of another’s whims. Daniel Mendelsohn, Town & Country, "How Infidelity Helped Create the Novel," 2 May 2019 Unlike other tanks, Tigers were primarily assigned to independent heavy tank battalions of 45 tanks each that the high command parceled to help out in particularly tough battles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Was the Famous German Tiger Tank Really That Great?," 20 Dec. 2018 The rival courts of England, Spain, France and Holland were perpetually at war with one another, and parceling up the riches of the New World became an extension of their Continental conflicts. Rinker Buck, WSJ, "‘Black Flags, Blue Waters’ Review: To Live and Die a Pirate King," 26 Sep. 2018 Alexander Wang will put out part of a new collection in October, and parcel out additional drops in November, December, February and March. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Designers Hope ‘Drops’ Make You Shop," 23 July 2018 The shape of the house is simple—just a rectangular volume—but it’s been cleverly parceled into an interesting flow of rooms and spaces, including a large outdoor patio that feels like an extension of the living room. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Modern prefab house was constructed in a month," 28 Aug. 2018 As in the Dead Space games, information about the crew and the events that led them to evacuate the Origin are parceled out in the form of recordings and computer data. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "YouTube’s tech-noir series Origin is Lost… in space," 14 Nov. 2018 In the late nineteenth century, many saw physical energy as a finite resource that had to be carefully parceled out, not a power that could be renewed through exercise. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Wheel, the Woman, and the Human Body," 6 July 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for parcel

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for parcel

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

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More Definitions for parcel



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on parcel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parcel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to take the place or position of

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