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)


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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 Undercover officers posing as drug traffickers contacted Barcelo’s associates to ship parcels containing sham cocaine and cash over several months in 2018 and 2019., "TUCSON, Ariz. — A group of United Parcel Service employees allegedly helped import and traffic massive amounts of drugs and counterfeit vaping oils from Mexico during the past decade, part of a scheme that exploited a vulnerability in the company’s distribution system, according to police.," 28 Nov. 2019 Undercover officers posing as drug traffickers contacted Barcelo's associates to ship parcels containing sham cocaine and cash over several months in 2018 and 2019. Author: Arelis R. Hernández, Anchorage Daily News, "UPS employees allegedly ran massive drug shipment operation, evading authorities for a decade," 27 Nov. 2019 Over the past dozen years or so, the city helped guide a transition to light industrial by buying several parcels, prepping them for development and selling them to developers. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "South St. Paul odor producer says city’s new rezoning stinks, stops them from expanding," 25 Nov. 2019 Developer Northwood Investments acquired the Sears in a multi-parcel deal for $15 million in 2017, Arapahoe County records show. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "What’s becoming of Denver’s former Sears and Kmart stores?," 24 Nov. 2019 Soccer club donates 3,000 food parcels to the homeless after match washed out Support network Although Adrian has won medals as part of a successful relay team, swimming is predominantly a solo sport. Ben Morse And Celine Ramseyer, CNN, "Sportsmen commit upper lips to charity for Movember," 22 Nov. 2019 This parcel was once slated to become the site of Greektown Casino, which actually was built a block or so to the south. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "New U-M innovation center promises a lot. Can it deliver it all?," 30 Oct. 2019 Weidner is now buying the block's additional development parcels. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Long-stalled $26 million apartment development in downtown's Park East strip wins support from county," 28 Oct. 2019 There are also difficulties in finding large open land parcels necessary for compliant scrapyards. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "India’s proposed vehicle-scrapping policy may not be the right pill for its auto industry," 18 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Their traits are parceled out on a one-per-customer basis: Humphrey’s a patsy, King a worrier, Carmichael a hothead and Wallace a weasel. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Great Society,’ Another Presidential Nightmare," 1 Oct. 2019 Chi said, and are parceled into Year 1 planning grants and Permanent Local Housing Allocation money available afterward. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "H.B. to explore more sites for possible homeless shelter and may consider regional option," 8 Oct. 2019 The proposal also included a village contribution of up to $682,000 for environmental remediation at the senior building’s south parcel. Steve Schering,, "Developers request six-month extension for Madison Street senior facility, Pete’s Fresh Market plans," 5 Sep. 2019 The county also had to override restrictive rules placed on the West Lake Park parcel that limited the site to park and recreation uses. Larry Barszewski,, "Head-spinning real estate deals needed to keep new public safety radio system on track," 5 Sep. 2019 In practice, this means funneling Atlanta’s homeless—from those who have been living on the streets for years to the more recently displaced—into a crowded building where scarce resources are parceled out by way of a kind of triage. Brian Goldstone, The New Republic, "The New American Homeless," 21 Aug. 2019 For example, managers might need to find creative ways to tweak a person’s responsibilities, or parcel out work elsewhere, without unfairly loading other team members. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "The three-stage blueprint for “crafting” a flexible career," 13 Aug. 2019 The three-week concert series, parceled out among several churches, presents repertory from baroque to brand-new. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "D-FW connections abound in N.M. performances by pianist Haochen Zhang and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale," 6 Aug. 2019 Town officials and residents have been through many discussions of the now vacant parcel off Broad Street in the last decade. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Finally, a proposal for the once “dark side” of the Manchester Parkade," 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.

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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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Time Traveler for parcel

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for parcel

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Parcel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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

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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).


to constrict the range or activity of

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