[ pahr-tair ]

  1. Also called parquet circle. the rear section of seats, and sometimes also the side sections, of the main floor of a theater, concert hall, or opera house.

  2. an ornamental arrangement of flower beds of different shapes and sizes.

Origin of parterre

1630–40; <French, noun use of phrase par terre on the ground. See per, terra

Other words from parterre

  • par·terred, adjective

Words Nearby parterre Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use parterre in a sentence

  • The "pigeon house" stood behind a locked gate, and a shallow parterre that had been somewhat neglected.

  • The silent parterre would be gay with a giddy, chattering mob of Society people before long, Vera hurriedly explained.

    The Weight of the Crown | Fred M. White
  • In the middle of this natural parterre the stone was placed, and was overtopped by this growth, and thus concealed by it.

    The Indian in his Wigwam | Henry R. Schoolcraft
  • There were three circles of dancers: near the entrance to the parterre, in the centre of the floor, and on the stage.

    The conquest of Rome | Matilde Serao
  • The Arabesque roof was borne on Byzantine arches, which gave free access on three sides from a delightful parterre.

    The Great Mogul | Louis Tracy

British Dictionary definitions for parterre


/ (pɑːˈtɛə) /

  1. a formally patterned flower garden

  2. British and Irish the pit in a theatre

  1. US another name for parquet circle

Origin of parterre

C17: from French, from par along + terre ground

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