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

Portions of a shopping plaza a mile from the Florida Mall were cordoned off Thursday night as Orange County Sheriff’s deputies investigate a shooting that left a man injured. Cristóbal Reyes,, "Man injured at Orange County strip mall after shooting. Suspect at large, deputies say," 5 Sep. 2019 At the front of the complex, a plaza area includes a statue of Mary, Mother of Mercy, and the plan is for each Mercy player to touch it before walking onto the field. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Mercy to introduce new field with girls soccer showcase," 4 Sep. 2019 The suspect, a white male in his 30s, fired shots into shopping plazas and busy intersections, injuring at least 21 people and killing seven. Rachel Desantis,, "17-Month-Old Girl Injured in Texas Shootings Has Teeth Knocked Out, Shrapnel in Chest," 1 Sep. 2019 Disorderly conduct, Biddulph Road: On Aug. 9, police discovered a man sleeping on the ground behind the Biddulph Road shopping plaza. John Benson,, "Man flashes gun, gets $5 from bar patron: Brooklyn Police Blotter," 21 Aug. 2019 And not every landlord wanted a medical marijuana dispensary in their shopping plaza, even though they were licensed by the state. Lisa J. Huriash,, "Pot choices grow: Medical marijuana dispensaries swell across South Florida," 9 Aug. 2019 In the development agreement, the city agreed to make infrastructure improvements to the site to facilitate the hotel as well as purchase for not more than $600,000 land adjoining the hotel site for a public plaza area. Paul Gattis |,, "New hotel project proposed for downtown Huntsville," 24 July 2019 Twenty people were injured after a vacant pizza restaurant exploded in a South Florida shopping plaza Saturday, according to police. Htv National Desk, Houston Chronicle, "Explosion at Florida shopping plaza injures 20, 2 seriously," 6 July 2019 ESSENTIAL FORTIFICATION Long Beach is home to the largest Cambodian community in the U.S., and Cambodia Town—a deceptively nondescript 20-block stretch of shopping plazas—is where many of them go to dine. Rico Gagliano, WSJ, "3 Quick Escapes From Los Angeles," 1 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plaza

Statistics for plaza

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plaza

The first known use of plaza was in 1683

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for plaza



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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on plaza

What made you want to look up plaza? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!