• synonyms


  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.
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Origin of parterre

1630–40; < French, noun use of phrase par terre on the ground. See per, terra
Related formspar·terred, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for parterre

Historical Examples of parterre

  • Then, on emerging from the wood, on again reaching the parterre, he raised his eyes.

    The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete

    Emile Zola

  • But she resumed: 'Would you like to go into the flower-garden, the parterre?

  • His evenings were largely spent in the parterre of the opera.

    The False Chevalier

    William Douw Lighthall

  • And he returned through the parterre with slow and melancholy steps.

    The Man in the Iron Mask

    Alexandre Dumas, Pere

  • And again the working bees, down in the parterre, attracted his attention.

British Dictionary definitions for parterre


  1. a formally patterned flower garden
  2. British and Irish the pit in a theatre
  3. US another name for parquet circle
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Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for parterre


1630s, from French parterre (1540s), from adverbial phrase par terre "over the ground;" see par + terrain

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper