1. An area of land set aside for public use, as:
a. A piece of land with few or no buildings within or adjoining a town, maintained for recreational and ornamental purposes.
b. A landscaped city square.
c. A large tract of rural land kept in its natural state and usually reserved for the enjoyment and recreation of visitors.
2. A broad, fairly level valley between mountain ranges: the high parks of the Rocky Mountains.
3. A tract of land attached to a country house, especially when including extensive gardens, woods, pastures, or a game preserve.
4. Sports A stadium or an enclosed playing field: a baseball park.
a. An area where military vehicles or artillery are stored and serviced.
b. The materiel kept in such an area.
6. An area in or near a town designed and usually zoned for a certain purpose: a commercial park.
7. A position in an automatic transmission that disengages the gears and sets the brake so the vehicle cannot move: put the car in park and turned off the engine.
v. parked, park·ing, parks
1. To put or leave (a vehicle) for a time in a certain location.
2. Aerospace To place (a spacecraft or satellite) in a usually temporary orbit.
3. Informal To place or leave temporarily: parked the baby with neighbors; parking cash in a local bank account.
4. To assemble (artillery or other equipment) in a military park.
1. To park a motor vehicle: pulled over and parked next to the curb.
2. Slang To engage in kissing and caressing in a vehicle stopped in a secluded spot.
[Middle English, game preserve, enclosed tract of land, from Old French parc, from Vulgar Latin *parricus, fence, from *parra, perhaps, "wooden bar, espalier"; akin to Spanish parra, grapevine grown in an espalier, and French barre, bar; see BARRE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.