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

This is the fifth proposal by a developer of the parcel since 2008. Peter Marteka,, "Glastonbury town council, unhappy with architecture, tables vote on town’s third hotel," 10 July 2019 Overall, sales of smaller parcels in Texas exceeded $1.1 billion in 2018. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Report: Small land sales along Gulf Coast commanding higher prices," 9 July 2019 Cal Fire San Diego is responsible for more than three times the number of parcels covered by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California’s not enforcing wildfire-prevention rules for homeowners, leaving tens of thousands of properties vulnerable to big blazes," 7 July 2019 King had asked Under Armour’s board to review the purchase of parcels along the Patapsco River in South Baltimore by Plank’s private Sagamore Development Co. as early as 2012. Lorraine Mirabella,, "Under Armour, Sagamore seek to dismiss shareholder lawsuit over Port Covington," 5 July 2019 The purchase of the Hub Cap City parcels marks the second acquisition in downtown San Jose by Urban Catalyst. George Avalos, The Mercury News, "Investors grab choice downtown San Jose property near Google village sites," 2 July 2019 The drug has been found hidden inside shoes, in a passenger bus, and in numerous cargo parcels at the Tijuana airport. Kristina Davis,, "Fentanyl has taken over America's drug market. Where is it coming from?," 17 June 2018 Authorities allege a man used $20,000 of the virtual currency Bitcoin to buy drugs from producers in China and Hong Kong, which were shipped in 53 separate parcels. John Keilman,, "'Like finding a needle in a haystack': Agents trying to stop deadly opioid fentanyl from entering U.S. in tough battle," 12 June 2018 Ford recently transferred about 200 members of its mobility team into a former factory site in Corktown and is reported to be interested in multiple other parcels in the district. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "It's official: Morouns sell Detroit train station to Ford," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Subway parcels its vast network of stores into more than 100 regional fiefs. New York Times, "Subway Got Too Big. Franchisees Paid a Price.," 28 June 2019 Although the programme was supposed to end in 2016, the government is still working on a big backlog of cases, with some 600,000 hectares still to be parcelled out, much of it on Negros. The Economist, "Filipino farmers are fighting—and dying—for land to till," 21 June 2019 Other companies parcel work out to a network of authorized vendors. Richard Jensen, Ars Technica, "Hackers, farmers, and doctors unite! Support for Right to Repair laws slowly grows," 20 June 2019 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

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

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 complain fretfully

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