1. A glacial or alluvial deposit of sand or gravel containing eroded particles of valuable minerals.
2. A place where a placer deposit is washed to extract its mineral content.
[Spanish, shoal, placer, from Catalan placer, shoal, from plassa, place, from Medieval Latin placea; see PLACE.]
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.