1
: the beach of a seaside resort
2
: a bright region on the sun caused by the light emitted by clouds of calcium or hydrogen and often associated with a sunspot

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The history of plage begins with the Greek word plagios, meaning "sideways" or "oblique," and then moves over to Late Latin as plagia. It arrived on the shores of southern Italy in the form of Italian piaggia and was used of the beaches there. It became plage in French and coasted into the English language in 1888. The word acquired its "bright region of the sun" sense in the mid-20th century.

Examples of plage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web La Réserve de la Mala, one of the best plages in the area, is worth making the trek (or hopping in a taxi boat) to nearby Cap d’Ail. Lane Nieset, Condé Nast Traveler, 5 Sep. 2023 Just weeks after Paris hosted it’s annual Open, models and IT girls have been sporting distinctly Francophile hair accessories fit for a weekend a la plage. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, 1 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French, beach, luminous surface, from Italian piaggia beach, from Late Latin plagia, from Greek plagios oblique

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of plage was in 1888

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Cite this Entry

“Plage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plage. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

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