pla·​za | \ ˈplä-zə How to pronounce plaza (audio) , ˈpla- How to pronounce plaza (audio) \

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 While most of the participants at the tree lighting were local officials and people responsible for organizing the event, one family of six and their dog walked to the plaza to participate. Steve Sadin,, "Waukegan stages COVID-conscious Christmas events: ‘We’re all in this together’," 7 Dec. 2020 Reyes said that although rides and most attractions at the boardwalk were closed, the colonnade and main plaza remain open for the time being. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "Santa Cruz boardwalk reopens for a weekend, then promptly closes rides again as COVID surges," 12 Nov. 2020 Hundreds of people, most dressed in black clothing and many carrying black umbrellas despite no rain, marched to the plaza, then to other parts of downtown. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Election unrest breaks out in Los Angeles, Washington, Portland, and Raleigh," 4 Nov. 2020 Officers with the Flagstaff Police Department responded about 11 a.m. to a plaza near Milton and Riordan roads for reports of a man who was not breathing, said department spokesperson Sgt. Chelsea Curtis, The Arizona Republic, "2 men suspected to have died of exposure during cold weather front in Flagstaff this week," 28 Oct. 2020 The building also defers to the nearby tavern and the open park spaces around it by stepping down to a plaza and lawn designed to act as common ground between the two facilities. Steven Litt, cleveland, "New Cleveland Foundation HQ part of bigger plan to uplift Midtown, Hough, city neighborhoods," 25 Oct. 2020 The staircase will lead to a plaza that will be open to ticketed fans and the public before matches. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "FC Cincinnati: Progress on West End stadium continues as the ticket-deposit deadline nears," 14 Oct. 2020 Officers were called at 11:30 a.m. to the commercial plaza off the 2100 block of Ford Parkway on a report of a robbery. Star Tribune, "Caribou Coffee in St. Paul, Jimmy John's in Bloomington robbed at gunpoint Wednesday," 9 Sep. 2020 It’s being built at the foot of the Pepper Canyon Blue Line trolley station that will empty on to a grand plaza, guiding people to Geisel and other sites. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "UCSD’s Geisel Library turns 50 as the place to ‘think and wonder, wonder and think’," 6 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for plaza

Time Traveler

The first known use of plaza was in 1683

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Statistics for plaza

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plaza.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for plaza


How to pronounce plaza (audio) How to pronounce plaza (audio)

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 How to pronounce plaza (audio) , ˈplä- \

Kids Definition of plaza

: a public square in a city or town

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