[loh-kal, -kahl]
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  1. a place or locality, especially with reference to events or circumstances connected with it: to move to a warmer locale.
  2. the scene or setting, as of a novel, play, or motion picture: The locale is a small Kansas town just before World War I.

Origin of locale

1765–75; alteration of earlier local < French: noun use of the adj. See local
Can be confusedlocal locale locality location

Synonyms for locale

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for locales


  1. a place or area, esp with reference to events connected with it

Word Origin for locale

C18: from French local (n use of adj); see local
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 locales



1772, local, from French local, noun use of local (adj.), from Latin locus "place" (see locus). English spelling with -e (1816) probably is based on morale or else to indicate stress.

The word's right to exist depends upon the question whether the two indispensable words locality & scene give all the shades of meaning required, or whether something intermediate is useful. [Fowler]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper