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 estimated 6,000 Central Americans left shelters in Guadalajara early Tuesday and were taken by bus to a highway toll plaza to wait for rides to their next destination. Maria Verza, The Seattle Times, "US hardens border at Tijuana to prepare for migrant caravan," 13 Nov. 2018 During the first few days of the Games, organizers were counting about 10,000 visitors to the plaza and stadium. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Lots of empty seats at Winter Olympics, but organizers say most tickets sold," 17 Feb. 2018 The new plaza opened Monday at a ceremony featuring local dignitaries and Holocaust survivors. Kristen De Groot, The Seattle Times, "1st US public Holocaust memorial merges past with new tech," 22 Oct. 2018 Where the plaza meets Broadway, take a right and head up the street away from the water. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "48 Hours in Oakland," 13 Sep. 2018 The market will be one of the plaza’s anchors along with a Silverspot Cinema, Chick-fil-A and BankUnited, among other businesses. Austen Erblat,, "Lucky's Market to open west Boca Raton location next summer," 6 July 2018 There are plans to renovate the plaza, adding green space and playgrounds and creating more of a destination on a bustling strip of the waterfront. New York Times, "Jersey City Makes a Statement With Fireworks Over the Hudson," 3 July 2018 Inside the plaza, the game played out on multiple giant screens at the Green Witch. Sandra Dibble,, "¡Viva Korea! Losing to Sweden, Mexican soccer fans cheer Korean team," 27 June 2018 Clayvin Herrera, shown at the Supreme Court plaza on Tuesday, is a Crow tribal member asserting his right a 150-year-old treaty with the U.S. government to hunt elk in the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Kavanaugh Delivers First Supreme Court Opinion as Ginsburg Is Absent," 8 Jan. 2019

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

17 Feb 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on plaza

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plaza

Spanish Central: Translation of plaza

Nglish: Translation of plaza for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plaza for Arabic Speakers

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