\ˈplās \

Definition of place 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : physical environment : space

b : a way for admission or transit

c : physical surroundings : atmosphere

2a : an indefinite region or expanse all over the place

b : a building or locality used for a special purpose a place of learning a fine eating place

c archaic : the three-dimensional compass of a material object

3a : a particular region, center of population, or location a nice place to visit

b : a building, part of a building, or area occupied as a home our summer place

4 : a particular part of a surface or body : spot

5 : relative position in a scale or series: such as

a : position in a social scale kept them in their place

b : a step in a sequence in the first place, it's none of your business

c : a position at the conclusion of a competition finished in last place

6a : a proper or designated niche or setting the place of education in society

b : an appropriate moment or point this is not the place to discuss compensation— Robert Moses

c : a distinct condition, position, or state of mind the postfeminist generation is in a different place— Betty Friedan

7a : an available seat or accommodation needs a place to stay

b : an empty or vacated position new ones will take their place

8 : the position of a figure in relation to others of a row or series especially : the position of a digit within a numeral

9a : remunerative employment : job

b : prestige accorded to one of high rank : status an endless quest for preferment and placeTime

10 : a public square : plaza

11 : a small street or court

12 : second place at the finish (as of a horse race)

in place

1 or less commonly into place

a : in an original or proper position

b : established, instituted, or operational systems in place

2 : in the same spot without forward or backward movement run in place

in place of

: as a substitute or replacement for : instead of

out of place

1 : not in the proper or usual location


placed; placing

Definition of place (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put in or as if in a particular place or position : set

b : to present for consideration a question placed before the group

c : to put in a particular state place a performer under contract

d : to direct to a desired spot

e : to cause (the voice) to produce free and well resonated singing or speaking tones

2a : to assign to a position in a series or category : rank

b : estimate placed the value of the estate too high

c : to identify by connecting with an associated context couldn't quite place her face police placed them at the crime scene

3 : to distribute in an orderly manner : arrange

4 : to appoint to a position

5 : to find a place (such as a home or employment) for

6a : to give (an order) to a supplier

b : to give an order for place a bet

c : to try to establish a connection for place a telephone call

intransitive verb

: to earn a given spot in a competition specifically : to come in second (as in a horse race)

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Other Words from place


placeable \ˈplā-​sə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of place in a Sentence


New York City is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. I've heard it's a good place to raise children. places like Africa and South America the hottest place on earth churches and other places of worship You should plan to meet him in a public place. You've come to the right place. I have just what you need. They gave him a place to stay for the night. We're going to need a bigger place once the baby is born. He's looking to buy a place in the country.


The box was placed at the center of the room. You can really see the similarities when you place the two pictures side by side. Her name was placed on the list. The husbands and wives were placed in separate groups. They were placed next to each other in line. Working with sick people places him at risk for infection. By not accepting the prosecutor's deal, he places his future in the hands of the jury. We're placing you under arrest. He was released from jail and placed on probation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Whites also wanted to live in places that were gated. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "What If There Were No Borders?," 30 Nov. 2018 When three bitflips occur in the right places, ECC can be completely bypassed. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Potentially disastrous Rowhammer bitflips can bypass ECC protections," 22 Nov. 2018 Laws vary by state, but in many places NPs, PAs, and midwives can prescribe medication, diagnose infections, and perform checkups. Barbara Brody, Glamour, "The Ob-Gyn Shortage Is Real—And It Might Impact Your Care," 14 Nov. 2018 Though most have not officially been in combat roles, these women have taken on crucial responsibilities in very dangerous places, sometimes fighting alongside the men; 168 have died in these wars. Jim Rendon, Marie Claire, "When Female Veterans Return Home," 29 Oct. 2018 The shower took place at the Blue Box Cafe on the fourth floor of Tiffany's Fifth Avenue flagship store. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra Steps Out in a Colorful Paisley Suit After Bridal Shower," 29 Oct. 2018 More adventurous foodies should seek out food tours in unlikelier places. Rick Steves' Europe, The Seattle Times, "Specialized tours enrich travel," 14 Nov. 2018 Wrap sandwiches in parchment or plastic wrap and place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "Salami Sandwiches with Cauliflower Relish," 31 Oct. 2018 Forty years is a long time, and South Boston today is a very different place. Nestor Ramos,, "Finally, a parade for all Southie to love. But what took so long?," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This company is selling shoes that are, apparently, only kept from falling apart thanks to expertly-placed, perfectly distressed tape — for hundreds of dollars. Mekita Rivas, Allure, "The Internet Is Dragging These $530-Dollar Sneakers That Look Like They're Taped Together," 20 Sep. 2018 Outside, as broadcast by stations including CNN, the group placed stones at each victim's memorial site, which is customary in Judaism. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Following Synagogue Shooting, Trump's Visit to Pittsburgh Was Met With Protests," 30 Oct. 2018 Additionally, last year’s findings (which placed Harmon at number five, too) called out that his high rate is also due, in part, to his role as the executive producer of the series. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'NCIS' Star Mark Harmon Is Officially One of the Highest Paid Actors on TV," 30 Oct. 2018 Auto Parking Brake Assist Trucks can roll an inch or two when placed into park, which can misalign an otherwise perfect hitch setup. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "The Chevy Silverado's New Towing Tech Makes Attaching a Trailer a Breeze," 20 Sep. 2018 My mother’s beautiful ceramic ashtray collection [though neither she nor Lolita smoke] was placed on every table at the wedding feast. Vogue, "Stylist Lolita Jacobs’s Effortlessly Chic Wedding in the South of France," 26 July 2018 Holt, an environmental artist, placed her concrete tunnels at 90-degree angles, about 12 feet apart, to align with the sunrise and sunset of the summer and winter solstices. Anne Slowey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Fear and Self-Loathing in the American Southwest," 25 July 2018 His jaw was also wired shut for three weeks and permanent metal plates were placed inside of his jaw and cheek, the D.A. said. Alexia Fernandez,, "Lindsay Lohan’s Cousin Allegedly Beaten by 2 Men, New Jersey Police Officer Charged," 12 July 2018 Junior lifeguards at the Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center in Gurnee continued the tradition this week of placing first in the annual state Lifeguard Games run by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association. Yadira Sanchez Olson, Lake County News-Sun, "Annual lifeguard competition in Gurnee tests of strength, speed and rescue skills," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'place.' 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 place


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for place


Middle English, from Anglo-French, open space, from Latin platea broad street, from Greek plateia (hodos), from feminine of platys broad, flat; akin to Sanskrit pṛthu broad, Latin planta sole of the foot

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Statistics for place

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for place

The first known use of place was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for place



English Language Learners Definition of place

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a specific area or region of the world : a particular city, country, etc.

: a building or area that is used for a particular purpose

: a building, part of a building, or area that is used for shelter



English Language Learners Definition of place (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (something or someone) in a particular place or position

: to put (someone or something) in a particular state, condition, or situation

—used to say who or what you believe should be trusted, blamed, etc.


\ˈplās \

Kids Definition of place

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an available seat or space : room Let's make a place for the newcomer. There's no place to sit.

2 : a region or space not specified There's dust all over the place.

3 : a particular portion of a surface : spot

4 : a point in a speech or a piece of writing I lost my place.

5 : a building or area used for a special purpose a place of worship

6 : a certain area or region of the world It's a nice place to visit.

7 : a piece of land with a house on it We own a place in the country.

8 : position in a scale or series in comparison with another or others I finished the race in second place.

9 : usual space or use Paper towels can take the place of linen.

10 : the position of a figure in a numeral The number 128 has three places.

11 : a public square

12 : a short street


placed; placing

Kids Definition of place (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put in or as if in a certain space or position Place the book on my desk. They place great importance on teamwork.

2 : to give an order for I'd like to place an ad in the paper.

3 : to appoint to a job or find a job for He was placed in command.

4 : to identify by connecting with a certain time, place, or happening I couldn't quite place her face.

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More from Merriam-Webster on place

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with place

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for place

Spanish Central: Translation of place

Nglish: Translation of place for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of place for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about place

Comments on place

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


living or existing for a long time

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