[ air-ee-uh ]
See 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.

  1. any section reserved for a specific function: the business area of a town;the dining area of a house.

  2. extent, range, or scope: inquiries that embrace the whole area of science.

  3. field of study, or a branch of a field of study: Related areas of inquiry often reflect borrowed notions.

  4. a piece of unoccupied ground; an open space.

  5. the space or site on which a building stands; the yard attached to or surrounding a house.

  6. British. areaway (def. 1).

  7. the quantitative measure of a plane or curved surface; two-dimensional extent.

  8. Anatomy. a zone of the cerebral cortex having a specific function: The damage to Broca's area affected his speech.

Origin of area

First recorded in 1530–40; fram Latin ārea “vacant piece of level ground, open space in a town, threshing floor”; perhaps akin to ārēre “to be dry”; see also arid

Other words from area

  • ar·e·al, adjective

Words that may be confused with area Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use area in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for area


/ (ˈɛərɪə) /

  1. any flat, curved, or irregular expanse of a surface

    • the extent of a two-dimensional surface enclosed within a specified boundary or geometric figure: the area of Ireland; the area of a triangle

    • the two-dimensional extent of the surface of a solid, or of some part thereof, esp one bounded by a closed curve: the area of a sphere

  1. a section, portion, or part: an area of the body; an area of the sky

  2. region; district; locality: a mountainous area

    • a geographical division of administrative responsibility

    • (as modifier): area manager

  3. a part or section, as of a building, town, etc, having some specified function or characteristic: reception area; commercial area; slum area

  4. Also called: areaway a sunken area, usually enclosed, giving light, air, and sometimes access to a cellar or basement

  5. the range, extent, or scope of anything

  6. a subject field or field of study

  7. any unoccupied or unused flat open piece of ground

  8. the ground on which a building stands, or the ground surrounding a building

  9. anatomy any of the various regions of the cerebral cortex

  10. computing any part of a computer memory assigned to store data of a specified type

Origin of area

C16: from Latin: level ground, open space, threshing-floor; related to ārēre to be dry

Derived forms of area

  • areal, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for area


[ ârē-ə ]

  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.

Other 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.