• Place


    • enPR: plās, IPA: /pleɪs/
    • Rhymes: -eɪs
    • Homophones: plaice

    Alternative forms

    • pleace some English dialects: 18th–19th centuries; Scots: until the 17th century


    From Middle English place, from Old English plæse, plætse, plæċe ("place, an open space, street"), from Latin platea ("plaza, wide street"), from Ancient Greek πλατεῖα (plateia), shortening of πλατεῖα ὁδός (plateia hodos, "broad way"), from Proto-Indo-European *plat- ("to spread"), extended form of *pelh- ("flat"), *pelh₂-. Reinforced in Middle English by Old French place ("open space"). Displaced native Middle English lough, loogh, loȝ ("place, stead") (from Old English lōh ("place, stead")), Middle English stede ("place, location") (from Old English stede ("place, stead")), Middle English stowe ("place") (from Old English stōw ("place, locality, site")).

    Full definition of place



    (plural places)
    1. A location or position.
      • ShakespeareHere is the place appointed.
      • MiltonWhat place can be for us
        Within heaven's bound?
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 5, When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose. And the queerer the cure for those ailings the bigger the attraction. A place like the Right Livers' Rest was bound to draw freaks, same as molasses draws flies.
    2. An open space, courtyard, market square.
      • ShakespeareAy, sir, the other squirrel was stolen from me by the hangman's boys in the market-place...
    3. A group of houses.
      They live in Westminster Place.
    4. A region of a land.
      He is going back to his native place on vacation.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 22, From another point of view, it was a place without a soul. The well-to-do had hearts of stone; the rich were brutally bumptious; the Press, the Municipality, all the public men, were ridiculously, vaingloriously self-satisfied.
    5. Somewhere for a person to sit.
      We asked the restaurant to give us a table with three places.
    6. A frame of mind.
      I'm in a strange place at the moment.
    7. (informal) A house or home.
      Do you want to come over to my place later?
    8. A role or purpose; a station.
      • Francis BaconMen in great place are thrice servants.
      • ShakespeareI know my place as I would they should do theirs.
      • 2013-08-10, Lexington, Keeping the mighty honest, The Washington Post's proprietor through those turbulent Watergate days, Katharine Graham, held a double place in Washington’s hierarchy: at once regal Georgetown hostess and scrappy newshound, ready to hold the establishment to account.
    9. It is really not my place to say what is right and wrong in this case.
    10. Numerically, the column counting a certain quantity.
      three decimal places;  the hundreds place
    11. The position of a contestant in a competition.
      We thought we would win but only ended up in fourth place.
    12. The position as a member of a sports team.
      He lost his place in the national team.
    13. Ordinal relation; position in the order of proceeding.That's what I said in the first place!
      • Mather BylesIn the first place, I do not understand politics; in the second place, you all do, every man and mother's son of you; in the third place, you have politics all the week, pray let one day in the seven be devoted to religion...
    14. Reception; effect; implying the making room for.
      • Bible, John viii. 37My word hath no place in you.



    1. (transitive) To put (an object or person) in a specific location.
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess Chapter 19, Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.
      • 2013, Charles T. Ambrose, Alzheimer’s Disease, Similar studies of rats have employed four different intracranial resorbable, slow sustained release systems— . Such a slow-release device containing angiogenic factors could be placed on the pia mater covering the cerebral cortex and tested in persons with senile dementia in long term studies.
    2. He placed the glass on the table.
    3. (intransitive) To earn a given spot in a competition.
      The win against the Mets placed the Cowboys in third place in the league.
    4. (transitive) To remember where and when (an object or person) has been previously encountered.
      I've seen him before, but I can't quite place where.
    5. (transitive, in the passive) To achieve (a certain position, often followed by an ordinal) as in a horse race.
      Run Ragged was placed fourth in the race.
    6. (transitive) To sing (a note) with the correct pitch.
    7. (transitive) To arrange for or to make (a bet).
      I placed ten dollars on the Lakers beating the Bulls.
    8. (transitive) To recruit or match an appropriate person for a job.
      They phoned hoping to place her in the management team.


    • (to earn a given spot)
    • (to put in a specific location) deposit, lay, lay down, put down
    • (to remember where and when something or someone was previously encountered)
    • (passive, to achieve a certain position) achieve, make
    • (to sing (a note) with the correct pitch) reach
    • (to arrange for, make (a bet))
    • (to recruit or match an appropriate person)

    Derived terms


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