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 People who live or work in towering glass buildings nearby stroll through the lush gardens of the rooftop park or eat lunch from food trucks that park on the street-level plaza. Michael Cabanatuan,, "Dormant for 10 months, the Transbay transit center is finally springing to life," 23 Dec. 2019 The sequence starts in darkness before James opens the curtains of his hotel room to reveal a disc jockey blasting some tunes at a fan fest on the plaza below. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "LeBron James Is 🔥🔥🔥 Online," 17 Dec. 2019 On the main plaza, artisans set up their wares on the sidewalk by La Placita restaurant. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "Albuquerque," 11 Dec. 2019 On a plaza, dozens of people mixed explosive formulas of kerosene, flour, and sugar. Suzanne Sataline, Quartz, "How one fighter made his escape from the worst battle of Hong Kong’s protests," 30 Nov. 2019 Many of his commentaries appear online, taped on the plaza outside of Fox’s Manhattan headquarters., "Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano emerges as a Trump critic - The Boston Globe," 12 Nov. 2019 Many of his commentaries appear online, taped on the plaza outside of Fox’s Manhattan headquarters. David Bauder, USA TODAY, "Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano emerges as one of President Trump's bluntest critics," 12 Nov. 2019 Installation of the bollards on the plaza’s perimeter is likely to continue through early 2020. Scott Huddleston,, "Alamo Plaza ‘war zone’ to be gone by Thanksgiving," 1 Nov. 2019 We’re neighborhoods—thirty stories high, on a plaza. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Why They Bulldozed Your Block," 21 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for plaza

Time Traveler

The first known use of plaza was in 1683

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Statistics for plaza

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plaza.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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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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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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