- an object, article, container, or quantity of something wrapped or packed up; small package; bundle.
- a quantity or unit of something, as of a commodity for sale; lot.
- a group, collection, or assemblage of persons or things.
- a distinct, continuous portion or tract of land.
- a part, portion, or fragment.
- to divide into or distribute in parcels or portions (usually followed by out).
- to make into a parcel or wrap as a parcel.
- Nautical. to cover or wrap (a rope) with strips of canvas.
- Archaic. in part; partially.
Origin of parcel
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- something wrapped up; package
- a group of people or things having some common characteristic
- a quantity of some commodity offered for sale; lot
- a distinct portion of land
- an essential part of something (esp in the phrase part and parcel)
- (often foll by up) to make a parcel of; wrap up
- (often foll by out) to divide (up) into portions
- nautical to bind strips of canvas around (a rope)
- an archaic word for partly
Word Origin and History for parcel out
"to divide into small portions," early 15c. (with out), from parcel (n.). Related: Parceled; parcelled; parceling; parcelling.
late 14c., "a portion of something, a part" (sense preserved in phrase parcel of land, c.1400), from Old French parcele "small piece, particle, parcel," from Vulgar Latin *particella, diminutive of Latin particula "small part, little bit," itself a diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "part" (see part (n.)).
Meaning "package" is first recorded 1640s, earlier "a quantity of goods in a package" (mid-15c.), from late 14c. sense of "an amount or quantity of anything." The expression part and parcel (early 15c.) also preserves the older sense; both words mean the same, the multiplicity is for emphasis.
Idioms and Phrases with parcel out
Divide into parts and distribute, as in She parceled out the remaining candy among the children. This idiom uses parcel in the sense of “divide into small portions.” [Mid-1500s]