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 parcel (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

Noun a parcel of real estate her absurd explanation for the collision was a parcel of lies
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another parcel of nearly 120 acres, including the former tobacco sheds on Hoskins Road, is to be preserved as farmland. Don Stacom,, "Voters choose open space over new housing: Simsbury to help buy Meadowood, Southington to preserve golf course," 5 May 2021 The Woolsey Street parcel is the only block that hasn’t been redeveloped with single-family homes. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F.'s historic Portola greenhouses could be saved. But there's a catch," 30 Mar. 2021 Some speakers commended the county for the acquisition, noting the large parcel is a unique piece of unspoiled land that connects adjoining wild lands. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County to buy Star Ranch in Campo for conservation plan," 21 Mar. 2021 The parcel was inside the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument, which President-elect Joe Biden has promised to restore. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah criticized for selling oil and gas leases in the original Bears Ears monument," 26 Dec. 2020 The entire parcel is about 238.5 acres, according to information from the planning office. Tom Sissom, Arkansas Online, "Washington County planners table quarry expansion," 12 Dec. 2020 One large parcel, for example, is adjacent to Paul Bunyan State Forest in Hubbard County. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "The Conservation Fund buys thousands of acres of Minnesota forestland," 19 Nov. 2020 That 525,000-square-foot parcel was worth $137 million in 2010. Washington Post, "Mounting commercial real estate losses threaten banks, recovery," 11 Nov. 2020 One thing is certainly true about NASA’s curious effort to place 2,850 acres above the Simi Valley on the National Register of Historic Places: The parcel is certainly a landmark. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Yes, Santa Susana is a ‘landmark’ — as a historic environmental disaster," 27 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The federal money goes to states, which keep a portion and parcel most of it out to school systems based on funding levels for Title 1 assistance, which supports the education of students from low-income families. Washington Post, "More than $1.8 billion flows into schools in the Washington region to help amid pandemic," 23 Apr. 2021 If federal transit officials use the same formula to parcel out funding as in the prior two stimulus disbursements, the agency could end up with about $1 billion — enough to carry Metro well into 2022, Metro officials said. Washington Post, "Metro board considers lowering fares to lure riders when workers return to offices," 8 Apr. 2021 Investors should be wary of firms that parcel out the incorporation of ESG criteria into only a few vehicles but may be remiss to do so in their other funds. Martin Jarzebowski, Forbes, "To Judge ESG Investment Quality, Look Beyond The Label," 18 Mar. 2021 And in 1902, after the passage of the Curtis Act, the then-House representative convinced the Department of the Interior to abolish his own tribe’s government and parcel out their land to its members. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Deb Haaland’s Ascent and the Complicated Legacy of Native Representation," 22 Feb. 2021 Meghan will also give up her patronage appointments, the palace said in a statement, noting that Queen Elizabeth II would parcel out the titles and appointments to other family members. Mark Landler,, "Harry and Meghan to give up official royal family duties," 19 Feb. 2021 Leaders should prioritize so their teams can parcel out their time and energy to the most impactful tasks. Christine Trodella, Quartz at Work, "How to manage remote workers when their productivity dips," 1 Dec. 2020 Forty years after Hilton's passing, the foundation continues to parcel out his largesse to worthy organizations around the world. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Forty Years After Conrad N. Hilton's Death, His Foundation Is Still Giving," 22 Oct. 2020 RydeOn sends a van to Yellow Cab every morning to parcel out grocery boxes to drivers, who bring them to customers between 8 and 11 a.m. — times that ordinarily are slow anyway. Carolyn Said,, "Taxi drivers: We’re ready to step in if Uber and Lyft bail," 11 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The current record, of $147 million, was for a multi-parcel purchase by investor Barry Rosenstein. Amy Dobson, Forbes, "A 42-Acre Hamptons Estate Is About To Break Local Real Estate Records," 6 Apr. 2021 While parcel demand for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail peaks was higher than expected, the threat of industrial action caused customers to divert holiday packages to other companies, Royal Mail said in a statement. Anthony Palazzo,, "Royal Mail Labor Troubles Put Long-Term Targets in Jeopardy," 29 Apr. 2020

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

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Parcel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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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