pla·​za ˈplä-zə How to pronounce plaza (audio) ˈpla- How to pronounce plaza (audio)
: a public square in a city or town
: an open area usually located near urban buildings and often featuring walkways, trees and shrubs, places to sit, and sometimes shops
: a place on a thoroughfare (such as a turnpike) at which all traffic must temporarily stop (as to pay tolls)
: an area adjacent to an expressway which has service facilities (such as a restaurant, gas station, and restrooms)

Examples of plaza in a Sentence

They put his statue in the town's plaza.
Recent Examples on the Web Looking a little further ahead to a future when electric vehicles will turn the gas pump into a relic, the firm imagines repurposing all those service stations into plazas, markets, and even zones for vintage-auto meetups. Curbed, 29 Nov. 2023 Families still gather at a plaza in Tel Aviv near Israel’s defense headquarters; many relatives of those already freed continue to go there daily as an expression of solidarity with those who wait. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2023 After amassing a fortune, Youngblood donated to build a new plaza at his alma mater and had his grandfather’s name chiseled into the steps. Benoît Morenne, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2023 And school officials have completed a plan to build an outdoor exhibit and plaza around the cemetery, using the money promised by the county. Priya Krishna, New York Times, 8 Nov. 2023 Things to do: Rancho San Diego Towne Center is one of the many plazas in the area, home to stores, restaurants and a movie theater. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Oct. 2023 Before there were K-pop heavy hitters like BTS — and member Jung Kook taking over the TODAY plaza — Blackpink, Twice, Le Sserafim and Seventeen, among others, Rain was the K-pop sensation paving the way for the South Korean genre. Liz Calvario, NBC News, 17 Nov. 2023 The pink sandstone arcade bordering the plaza, where the faithful walk, reproducing Swaminarayan’s journey in miniature. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 9 Nov. 2023 After gathering for speeches at Washington's Freedom Plaza, the crowd was expected to march past the White House and back to the plaza. Alan Cullison, WSJ, 5 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Spanish, from Latin platea broad street — more at place

First Known Use

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of plaza was in 1683

Dictionary Entries Near plaza

Cite this Entry

“Plaza.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pla·​za ˈplaz-ə How to pronounce plaza (audio) ˈpläz- How to pronounce plaza (audio)
: a public square in a city or town

More from Merriam-Webster on plaza

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