pla·​za ˈplä-zə How to pronounce plaza (audio) ˈpla- How to pronounce plaza (audio)
: a public square in a city or town
: an open area usually located near urban buildings and often featuring walkways, trees and shrubs, places to sit, and sometimes shops
: a place on a thoroughfare (such as a turnpike) at which all traffic must temporarily stop (as to pay tolls)
: an area adjacent to an expressway which has service facilities (such as a restaurant, gas station, and restrooms)

Example Sentences

They put his statue in the town's plaza.
Recent Examples on the Web Tokyo Foods and Uncle Yip's are next-door to each other in the same plaza. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 23 Jan. 2023 In the plaza, protesters gathered to confront soldiers protecting the buildings. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2023 In a plaza outside the National Congress building, video posted to social media showed a crowd of protesters striking a police officer on horseback, pulling him off his horse. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 9 Jan. 2023 Other groups of protesters splintered off and broke into the presidential offices and the Supreme Court, which are in the same plaza. André Spigariol, New York Times, 9 Jan. 2023 Aztec dancers practiced in the plaza throughout the years as most of the busts looked on. Gustavo Arellanocolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2023 On a wintry evening in late November, protesters gather in the plaza outside the Uckermark Theater to demonstrate against government plans to cut off the supply of Russian oil to the PCK refinery, located just a mile up the road. Isabelle De Pommereau, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Dec. 2022 Opening Mass in the plaza, weather permitting (in English and Spanish). Laura Rodríguez Presa, Chicago Tribune, 9 Dec. 2022 The free, family-friendly event features an 18-foot Christmas tree in the plaza that provides a backdrop for taking photos. Dallas News, 5 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


Spanish, from Latin platea broad street — more at place

First Known Use

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of plaza was in 1683

Dictionary Entries Near plaza

Cite this Entry

“Plaza.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


pla·​za ˈplaz-ə How to pronounce plaza (audio) ˈpläz- How to pronounce plaza (audio)
: a public square in a city or town

More from Merriam-Webster on plaza

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