[pahr-suh l]


verb (used with object), par·celed, par·cel·ing or (especially British) par·celled, par·cel·ling.


Archaic. in part; partially.

Nearby words

  1. parañaque,
  2. parboil,
  3. parbuckle,
  4. parca,
  5. parcae,
  6. parcel gilding,
  7. parcel out,
  8. parcel post,
  9. parcel tanker,
  10. parcel-gilt

Origin of parcel

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French parcelle < Late Latin *particella, fresh formation for Latin particula; see particle, passel

1. See package. 3. batch, assortment. 6. mete, apportion, deal, allot.

Related formsun·par·celed, adjectiveun·par·celled, adjectiveun·par·cel·ling, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for parcel

British Dictionary definitions for parcel



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)

verb -cels, -celling or -celled or US -cels, -celing or -celed (tr)

(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 for parcel

C14: from Old French parcelle, from Latin particula particle

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 parcel
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with parcel


In addition to the idiom beginning with parcel

  • parcel out

also see:

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