a. An area with definite or indefinite boundaries; a portion of space.
b. Room or space, especially adequate space: There is place for everyone at the back of the room.
a. The particular portion of space occupied by or allocated to a person or thing.
b. A building or an area set aside for a specified purpose: a place of worship.
a. A dwelling; a house: bought a place on the lake.
b. A business establishment or office.
c. A locality, such as a town or city: visited many places.
4. Abbr. Pl. A public square or street with houses in a town.
a. A space in which one person, such as a passenger or spectator, can sit or stand.
b. A setting for one person at a table.
6. A position regarded as belonging to someone or something else; stead: She was chosen in his place.
7. A particular point that one has reached, as in a book: I have lost my place.
8. A particular spot, as on the body: the place that hurts.
a. The proper or designated role or function: the place of the media in a free society.
b. The proper or customary position or order: These books are out of place.
c. A suitable setting or occasion: not the place to argue.
d. The appropriate right or duty: not her place to criticize.
10. Social station: He overstepped his place.
11. A particular situation or circumstance: Put yourself in my place.
12. High rank or status.
13. A job, post, or position: found a place in the company.
14. Relative position in a series; standing.
15. Games Second position for betting purposes, as in a horserace.
16. The specified stage in a list of points to be made, as in an argument: in the first place.
17. Mathematics A position in a numeral or series.
v. placed, plac·ing, plac·es
1. To put in or as if in a particular place or position; set.
2. To put in a specified relation or order: Place the words in alphabetical order.
3. To offer for consideration: placed the matter before the board.
4. To find accommodation or employment for.
5. To put into a particular condition: placed him under arrest.
6. To arrange for the publication or display of: place an advertisement in the newspaper.
7. To appoint to a post: placed her in a key position.
a. To rank in an order or sequence: I'd place him second best.
b. To estimate: placed the distance at 100 feet.
9. To identify or classify in a particular context: could not place that person's face.
a. To give an order for: place a bet.
b. To apply or arrange for: place an order.
c. To make or obtain a connection for (a telephone call).
11. To sell (a new issue of stock, bonds, or other securities).
12. To adjust (one's voice) for the best possible effects.
To be among those who finish a competition or race, especially to finish second.
To qualify for a waiver of a requirement or prerequisite: placed out of a freshman composition class.
all over the place
In or to many locations; everywhere: Film is sold all over the place.
1. In the appropriate or usual position or order: With everything in place, she started the slide show.
2. In the same spot; without moving forwards or backwards: While marching in place, the band played a popular tune.
in place of
keep/know (one's) place
To recognize one's social position and act according to traditional decorum.
place in the sun
A dominant or favorable position or situation.
[Middle English, from Old English plæce and Old French place, open space (from Medieval Latin placea, from Vulgar Latin *plattea), both from Latin platēa, broad street, from Greek plateia (hodos), broad (street), feminine of platus; see plat- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.