See more synonyms for area on
  1. any particular extent of space or surface; part: the dark areas in the painting; the dusty area of the room.
  2. a geographical region; tract: the Chicago area; the unsettled areas along the frontier.
  3. any section reserved for a specific function: the business area of a town; the dining area of a house.
  4. extent, range, or scope: inquiries that embrace the whole area of science.
  5. field of study, or a branch of a field of study: Related areas of inquiry often reflect borrowed notions.
  6. a piece of unoccupied ground; an open space.
  7. the space or site on which a building stands; the yard attached to or surrounding a house.
  8. British. areaway(def 1).
  9. the quantitative measure of a plane or curved surface; two-dimensional extent.
  10. Anatomy. a zone of the cerebral cortex having a specific function: The damage to Broca's area affected his speech.

Origin of area

1530–40; < Latin ārea vacant piece of level ground, open space in a town, threshing floor; perhaps akin to ārēre to be dry. See arid
Related formsar·e·al, adjectivear·e·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedarea aria Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for area

Contemporary Examples of area

Historical Examples of area

British Dictionary definitions for area


  1. any flat, curved, or irregular expanse of a surface
    1. the extent of a two-dimensional surface enclosed within a specified boundary or geometric figurethe area of Ireland; the area of a triangle
    2. the two-dimensional extent of the surface of a solid, or of some part thereof, esp one bounded by a closed curvethe area of a sphere
  2. a section, portion, or partan area of the body; an area of the sky
  3. region; district; localitya mountainous area
    1. a geographical division of administrative responsibility
    2. (as modifier)area manager
  4. a part or section, as of a building, town, etc, having some specified function or characteristicreception area; commercial area; slum area
  5. Also called: areaway a sunken area, usually enclosed, giving light, air, and sometimes access to a cellar or basement
  6. the range, extent, or scope of anything
  7. a subject field or field of study
  8. any unoccupied or unused flat open piece of ground
  9. the ground on which a building stands, or the ground surrounding a building
  10. anatomy any of the various regions of the cerebral cortex
  11. computing any part of a computer memory assigned to store data of a specified type
Derived Formsareal, adjective

Word Origin for area

C16: from Latin: level ground, open space, threshing-floor; related to ārēre to be dry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for area

1530s, "vacant piece of ground," from Latin area "level ground, open space," used of building sites, playgrounds, threshing floors, etc.; of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to arere "to become dry," on notion of a burned clearing or dry, bare space. The generic sense of "amount of surface (whether open or not) contained within any set of limits" is from 1845. Area code in North American telephone systems is attested from 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

area in Medicine


n. pl. ar•e•as
  1. A circumscribed surface or space.
  2. All of a part that is supplied by a given artery or nerve.
  3. A part of an organ having a special function.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

area in Science


  1. The extent of a surface or plane figure as measured in square units.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with area


see gray area.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.