pla·​za | \ˈplä-zə, ˈpla- \

Definition of plaza 

1a : a public square in a city or town

b : an open area usually located near urban buildings and often featuring walkways, trees and shrubs, places to sit, and sometimes shops

2 : a place on a thoroughfare (such as a turnpike) at which all traffic must temporarily stop (as to pay tolls)

3 : 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

The plaza had also been the location for a pivotal scene between Basset and Cavill, which was shot at dawn. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "The 'Mission Impossible — Fallout' Cast on How Paris Inspired the Latest Action-Packed Installment," 13 July 2018 According to Assistant Village Administrator Jack Linehan, the overall cost for construction of the plaza was $226,000, along with $150,000 for its adjacent parking lot. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "New plaza dedicated for late mayor who 'is reflected in every square inch of Gurnee'," 6 July 2018 The plaza was gated off for the occasion, leaving curious passersby straining for glimpses within, as the song's familiar riff kicked up again and again. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "'Amazing Race' films in Detroit; teams rappel down Guardian Building," 3 July 2018 Beyond the fireworks, the plaza at Exchange Place has been a focal point for growth, as well as the consternation that has come with the city’s evolution. New York Times, "Jersey City Makes a Statement With Fireworks Over the Hudson," 3 July 2018 There have been signs the plaza can be viable, such as recent approval for a large entertainment center in the former Hobby Lobby building. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "City Council OKs new plans for Aurora University, West Plaza," 29 June 2018 Other than the officers and suspects, the plaza was empty, Sinno said. Max Londberg, kansascity, "'You could see bullets flying': Video, witness depict downtown KC police shooting," 15 June 2018 The plaza is included in the first phase of construction. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "ASU proposal for downtown Mesa is projected to cost city $70M," 15 May 2018 The plaza is a common meeting spot, and it is used for events such as the annual summer Maryland State BBQ Bash, according to Cassilly. David Anderson, The Aegis, "General Assembly session ends with honor for late Senator Norman," 10 Apr. 2018

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

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for plaza

Spanish, from Latin platea broad street — more at place

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Statistics for plaza

Last Updated

27 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plaza

The first known use of plaza was in 1683

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English Language Learners Definition of plaza

: an open public area that is usually near city buildings and that often has trees and bushes and places to sit, walk, and shop

: an area on or next to a highway having restaurants, gas stations, restrooms, etc.

: a place where you stop to pay money before going onto a highway


pla·​za | \ˈpla-zə, ˈplä-\

Kids Definition of plaza

: a public square in a city or town

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