- a particular portion of space, whether of definite or indefinite extent.
- space in general: time and place.
- the specific portion of space normally occupied by anything: The vase is in its place. Every item on the shelf had its place.
- a space, area, or spot, set apart or used for a particular purpose: a place of worship; a place of entertainment.
- any part or spot in a body or surface: a decayed place in a tree.
- a particular passage in a book or writing: to find the place where one left off reading.
- a space or seat for a person, as in a theater, train, etc.: Please save my place for me.
- position, situation, or circumstances: I would complain if I were in your place.
- a proper or appropriate location or position: A restaurant is not the place for an argument.
- a job, post, or office: persons in high places.
- a function or duty: It is not your place to offer criticism.
- proper sequence or relationship, as of ideas, details, etc.: My thoughts began to fall into place.
- high position or rank: aristocrats of power and place.
- a region or area: to travel to distant places.
- an open space, or square, as in a city or town.
- a short street, a court, etc.
- a portion of space used for habitation, as a city, town, or village: Trains rarely stop in that place anymore.
- a building, location, etc., set aside for a specific purpose: He will soon need a larger place for his expanding business.
- a part of a building: The kitchen is the sunniest place in the house.
- a residence, dwelling, or house: Please come and have dinner at my place.
- lieu; substitution (usually followed by of): Use yogurt in place of sour cream.
- a step or point in order of proceeding: in the first place.
- a fitting or promising opportunity: There's a place in this town for a man of his talents.
- a reasonable ground or occasion: This is no place for such an outburst.
- the position of a figure in a series, as in decimal notation.
- Usually places.the figures of the series.
- Drama. one of the three unities.Compare unity(def 8).
- places, Theater. a call summoning performers for the beginning of a performance or an act.
- room or space for entry or passage: to make place for the gentry.
- to put in the proper position or order; arrange; dispose: Place the silverware on the table for dinner.
- to put or set in a particular place, position, situation, or relation.
- to put in a suitable place for some purpose: to place an advertisement in the newspaper.
- to put into particular or proper hands: to place some incriminating evidence with the district attorney.
- to give (an order or the like) to a supplier: She placed the order for the pizza an hour ago.
- to appoint (a person) to a post or office: The president placed him in the Department of Agriculture.
- to find a place, situation, etc., for (a person): The agency had no trouble placing him with a good firm.
- to determine or indicate the place or value of: to place health among the greatest gifts in life.
- to assign a certain position or rank to: The army placed him in the infantry.
- to succeed in attaining a position for in an athletic or other contest: to place players on the all-American team; to place students in the finals of the interscholastic chess tournament.
- to identify by connecting with the proper place, circumstances, etc.: to be unable to place a person; to place a face; to place an accent.
- to employ (the voice) for singing or speaking with consciousness of the bodily point of emphasis of resonance of each tone or register.
- to finish among the first three competitors in a race.
- to finish second in a horse race, harness race, etc.
- to earn a specified standing with relation to others, as in an examination, competition, etc.: He placed fifth in a graduation class of 90.
- give place to,
- to give precedence or priority to: The old gives place to the new.
- to be succeeded or replaced by: Travel by trains has given place to travel by airplanes.
- go places, Informal. to succeed or advance in one's career: He'll never go places if he stays in his hometown.
- in place,
- in the correct or usual position or order: Dinner is ready and everything is in place.
- in the same spot, without advancing or retreating: Stand by your desk and jog in place for a few minutes of exercise.
- know/keep one's place, to recognize one's position or rank, especially if inferior, and behave or act accordingly: They treated their servants well but expected them always to know their place.
- out of place,
- not in the correct or usual position or order: The library books are all out of place.
- unsuitable to the circumstances or surroundings; inappropriate: He had always felt out of place in an academic environment. A green suit was out of place at the funeral.
- put someone in his/her place, to lower someone's self-esteem; humble, especially an arrogant person: She put me in my place by reminding me who was boss.
- take place, to happen; occur: The commencement exercises will take place outdoors unless it rains.
Origin of place
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a particular point or part of space or of a surface, esp that occupied by a person or thing
- a geographical point, such as a town, city, etc
- a position or rank in a sequence or order
- an open square lined with houses of a similar type in a city or town
- (capital when part of a street name)Grosvenor Place
- space or room
- a house or living quarters
- a country house with grounds
- any building or area set aside for a specific purpose
- a passage in a book, play, film, etcto lose one's place
- proper or appropriate position or timehe still thinks a woman's place is in the home
- right or original positionput it back in its place
- suitable, appropriate, or customary surroundings (esp in the phrases out of place, in place)
- right, prerogative, or dutyit is your place to give a speech
- appointment, position, or joba place at college
- position, condition, or stateif I were in your place
- a space or seat, as at a dining table
- (as modifier)place mat
- maths the relative position of a digit in a numberSee also decimal place
- any of the best times in a race
- horse racing
- Britishthe first, second, or third position at the finish
- US and Canadianthe first or usually the second position at the finish
- (as modifier)a place bet
- theatre one of the three unitiesSee unity (def. 8)
- archaic an important position, rank, or role
- all over the place in disorder or disarray
- another place British parliamentary procedure
- (in the House of Commons) the House of Lords
- (in the House of Lords) the House of Commons
- give place to someone to make room for or be superseded by someone
- go places informal
- to travel
- to become successful
- in place of
- instead of; in lieu ofgo in place of my sister
- in exchange forhe gave her it in place of her ring
- know one's place to be aware of one's inferior position
- pride of place the highest or foremost position
- put someone in his place to humble someone who is arrogant, conceited, forward, etc
- take one's place to take up one's usual or specified position
- take the place of to be a substitute for
- take place to happen or occur
- the other place facetious
- (at Oxford University) Cambridge University
- (at Cambridge University) Oxford University
- to put or set in a particular or appropriate place
- to find or indicate the place of
- to identify or classify by linking with an appropriate contextto place a face
- to regard or view as beingto place prosperity above sincerity
- to make (an order, a bet, etc)
- to find a home or job for (someone)
- to appoint to an office or position
- (often foll by with) to put under the care (of)
- to direct or aim carefully
- (passive) British to cause (a racehorse, greyhound, athlete, etc) to arrive in first, second, third, or sometimes fourth place
- (intr) US and Canadian (of a racehorse, greyhound, etc) to finish among the first three in a contest, esp in second position
- to invest (funds)
- to sing (a note) with accuracy of pitch
- to insert (an advertisement) in a newspaper, journal, etc
- Francis. 1771–1854, British radical, who campaigned for the repeal (1824) of the Combination Acts, which forbade the forming of trade unions, and for parliamentary reform
Word Origin and History for know one's place
c.1200, "space, dimensional extent, room, area," from Old French place "place, spot" (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin placea "place, spot," from Latin platea "courtyard, open space; broad way, avenue," from Greek plateia (hodos) "broad (way)," fem. of platys "broad" (see plaice).
Replaced Old English stow and stede. From mid-13c. as "particular part of space, extent, definite location, spot, site;" from early 14c. as "position or place occupied by custom, etc.; position on some social scale;" from late 14c. as "inhabited place, town, country," also "place on the surface of something, portion of something, part," also, "office, post." Meaning "group of houses in a town" is from 1580s.
Also from the same Latin source are Italian piazza, Catalan plassa, Spanish plaza, Middle Dutch plaetse, Dutch plaats, German Platz, Danish plads, Norwegian plass. Wide application in English covers meanings that in French require three words: place, lieu, and endroit. Cognate Italian piazza and Spanish plaza retain more of the etymological sense.
To take place "happen" is from mid-15c. To know (one's) place is from c.1600; hence figurative expression put (someone) in his or her place (1855). Place of worship attested from 1689, originally in official papers and in reference to assemblies of dissenters from the Church of England. All over the place "in disorder" is attested from 1923.
mid-15c., "to determine the position of;" also "to put (something somewhere)," from place (n.). In the horse racing sense of "to achieve a certain position" (usually in the top three finishers; in U.S., specifically second place) it is first attested 1924, from earlier meaning "to state the position of" (among the first three finishers), 1826. Related: Placed; placing. To take place "to happen, be accomplished" (mid-15c., earlier have place, late 14c.), translates French avoir lieu.
Idioms and Phrases with know one's place
know one's place
Behave suitably for one's position, rank, or status. This idiom often has the sense of “to behave humbly, not criticize ones' superiors,” as in Sorry, I know my place and I can't tell you more about my supervisor's plans. [Late 1500s] Also see put one in one's place.
In addition to the idiom beginning with place
- all over the place
- between a rock and a hard place
- fall in place
- friend in court (high places)
- go places
- have one's heart in the right place
- in place
- in someone's shoes (place)
- instead (in place) of
- in the first place
- jumping-off place
- know one's place
- out of place
- pride of place
- put someone in his or her place
- run in place
- take place
- take someone's place