\ ˈplās How to pronounce place (audio) \
plural places

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

— see also take place


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 How to pronounce place (audio) \ adjective

Examples of place in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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 What oversight procedures are in place to hold officials accountable. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Dingell sent US Secretary of Education letter about EMU sexual assault cases: What it says," 31 Mar. 2021 Storm Prediction Center has a slight risk of severe weather in place for nearly all of south Alabama and a large part of central Alabama today (see the map at the top of this post). Leigh Morgan, al, "Scattered severe storms possible in Alabama today; severe thunderstorm watch issued," 31 Mar. 2021 The Orange School District has a plan in place to help its students whose learning has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic get caught up academically. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, "Orange Schools’ extended learning plan offers ‘recovery instruction’ for students," 31 Mar. 2021 The aim is to have 230 strings and more than 4000 light detectors in place by 2026 to make a detector slightly larger than IceCube. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Neutrino hunters go underwater in quest to trap ghost particles," 31 Mar. 2021 The governor’s multiple classifications, levels, and phases that his administration has put in place have become the target of criticism. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Despite nearly hitting vaccination goals, rising hospitalizations pause Pritzker's bridge plan," 31 Mar. 2021 Several Republican governors bucked President Joe Biden's plea to keep masking mandates in place, even as his administration works to increase vaccination rates to stay ahead of what would be a fourth surge of the coronavirus in the U.S. Molly Nagle, ABC News, "Biden faces the challenge of highlighting progress without relaxing restrictions," 31 Mar. 2021 Desks are in place, pencils are sharpened, and on April 8, Prince George’s County Public Schools will open their doors for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic closed them in March 2020. Katie V. Jones,, "Primed for safety, Prince George’s County schools ready to reopen April 8 for hybrid learning," 31 Mar. 2021 Since last year, Congress has agreed to dramatically increase funding for food programs in states that have emergency orders in place. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Supreme Court overturns statewide mask mandate, blocks Evers from declaring multiple emergency orders," 31 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When a bird is new to you, place meat inside its enclosure. New York Times, "How to Befriend an Eagle," 30 Mar. 2021 Once the butter begins to bubble, place the fish cakes in the skillet and cook without moving them until their bottoms are nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Washington Post, "Crush some chips into your fish cakes: Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean being fat-phobic," 30 Mar. 2021 Other features coming soon to Google Maps: • Google will place more emphasis on eco-friendly routes. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Do you get lost at the airport or the mall? Google Maps will help you find your way," 30 Mar. 2021 Customers will place orders through the Pizza Hut app or website (or by calling the restaurant’s phone line). Chris Morris, Fortune, "Pizza Hut is opening drive-thru windows at 1,500 locations," 30 Mar. 2021 To make them, cut about an 18-inch square of foil; place your items in the middle and tent the foil, pressing the shiny sides flat together; then rolling up the sides toward the center. Kelsey Ogletree, Southern Living, "Exactly When to Use Tin Foil, Wax Paper, and Parchment Paper," 29 Mar. 2021 That would place the title game in the middle of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Barry Wilner, ajc, "What's ahead? NFL owners to meet about upcoming season," 29 Mar. 2021 Rough estimates place that number at 34,000 businesses. Scott Mcclallen, Washington Examiner, "'Normalcy is on the horizon': Walz touts COVID-19 recovery in Minnesota State of State address," 29 Mar. 2021 The accelerated date will place Connecticut in the top 10 earliest states to open vaccine eligibility to all residents. Emily Brindley,, "All Connecticut adults will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on April 1 as state moves up timeline for vaccination," 25 Mar. 2021

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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Learn More about place

Time Traveler for place

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for place

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Place.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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 that something is thought of as important, valuable, etc. + on or upon


\ ˈplās How to pronounce place (audio) \

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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Comments on place

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