[ pleys ]
See synonyms for: placeplacedplacesplacing on

  1. a particular portion of space, whether of definite or indefinite extent.

  2. space in general: time and place.

  1. the specific portion of space normally occupied by anything: Every item on the shelf had its place.

  2. any part or spot in a body or surface: a decayed place in a tree.

  3. a particular passage in a book or writing: to find the place where one left off reading.

  4. a space or seat for a person, as in a theater, train, etc.: Please save a place for me.

  5. position, situation, or circumstances: I would complain if I were in your place.

  6. a proper or appropriate location or position: A restaurant is not the place for an argument.

  7. a job, post, or office: persons in high places.

  8. a function or duty: It is not your place to offer criticism.

  9. proper sequence or relationship, as of ideas, details, etc.: My thoughts began to fall into place.

  10. high position or rank: aristocrats of power and place.

  11. a region or area: to travel to distant places.

  12. an open space, or square, as in a city or town.

  13. a short street, a court, etc.

  14. a portion of space used for habitation, as a city, town, or village: After decades of neglect and decay, those places are making a comeback thanks to urban renewal.

  15. a building, space, location, etc., set apart or used for a specific purpose: A nightclub is a place of entertainment.You are encouraged to dress modestly in places of worship.

  16. a part of a building: The kitchen is the sunniest place in the house.

  17. a residence, dwelling, or house: Please come and have dinner at my place.

  18. lieu; substitution (usually followed by of): Use yogurt in place of sour cream.

  19. a step or point in order of proceeding: in the first place.

  20. a fitting or promising opportunity: There's a place in this town for a man of his talents.

  21. a reasonable ground or occasion: This is no place for such an outburst.

  22. a mental or emotional state: I’m not in a good place right now.

  23. Arithmetic.

    • the position of a figure in a series, as in decimal notation.

    • Usually places. the figures of the series.

  24. Drama. one of the three unities.: Compare unity (def. 8).

  25. Sports.

    • a position among the leading competitors, usually the first, second, or third at the finish line.

    • the position of the competitor who comes in second in a horse race, harness race, etc.: Compare show (def. 27), win1 (def. 16).

  26. places, Theater. a call summoning performers for the beginning of a performance or an act.

  27. room or space for entry or passage: to make place for the crowds.

verb (used with object),placed, plac·ing.
  1. to put in the proper position or order; arrange; dispose: Place the silverware on the table for dinner.

  2. to put or set in a particular place, position, situation, or relation.

  1. to put in a suitable place for some purpose: to place an advertisement in the newspaper.

  2. to put into particular or proper hands: to place some incriminating evidence with the district attorney.

  3. to give (an order or the like) to a supplier: She placed the order for the pizza an hour ago.

  4. to appoint (a person) to a post or office: The president placed him in the Department of Agriculture.

  5. to find a place, situation, etc., for (a person): The agency had no trouble placing him with a good firm.

  6. to determine or indicate the place or value of: to place health among the greatest gifts in life.

  7. to assign a certain position or rank to: The army placed him in the infantry.

  8. to succeed in attaining a position for in an athletic or other contest: to place players on the all-American team; to place students in the finals of the interscholastic chess tournament.

  9. to identify by connecting with the proper place, circumstances, etc.: to be unable to place a person; to place a face; to place an accent.

  10. to employ (the voice) for singing or speaking with consciousness of the bodily point of emphasis of resonance of each tone or register.

verb (used without object),placed, plac·ing.
  1. Sports.

    • to finish among the first three competitors in a race.

    • to finish second in a horse race, harness race, etc.

  2. to earn a specified standing with relation to others, as in an examination, competition, etc.: He placed fifth in a graduation class of 90.

Idioms about place

  1. give place to,

    • to give precedence or priority to: Any local ordinance must give place to federal law.

    • to be succeeded or replaced by: Travel by trains has given place to travel by airplanes.

  2. go places, Informal. to succeed or advance in one's career: He'll never go places if he stays in his hometown.

  1. in place,

    • in the correct or usual position or order: Dinner is ready and everything is in place.

    • in the same spot, without advancing or retreating: Stand by your desk and jog in place for a few minutes of exercise.

    • in the place or building that one already occupies: Residents were asked to shelter in place during the storm—evacuation was deemed too risky.Ninety percent of older adults would prefer to age in place, in their own homes and communities.

  2. know / keep one's place, to recognize one's position or rank, especially if inferior, and behave or act accordingly: They treated their servants well but expected them always to know their place.

  3. out of place,

    • not in the correct or usual position or order: The library books are all out of place.

    • unsuitable to the circumstances or surroundings; inappropriate: He had always felt out of place in an academic environment. A green suit was out of place at the funeral.

  4. put someone in his / her place, to lower someone's self-esteem; humble, especially an arrogant person: She put me in my place by reminding me who was boss.

  5. take place, to happen; occur: The commencement exercises will take place outdoors unless it rains.

Origin of place

First recorded before 950; Middle English noun plaas, plas, a conflation of Old English plæce, plætse and Middle French place, plasse “space, available space,” from Medieval Latin placea, from Vulgar Latin plattea, from Latin platea, platēa “wide street, courtyard, area,” from Greek plateîa (hodós) “wide (street),” noun use of feminine of platýs “wide, broad, level”; verb derivative of the noun; see flat1, plate1

synonym study For place

9. See position. 30. See put.

Other words for place

Other words from place

  • place·a·ble, adjective
  • place·less, adjective
  • place·less·ly, adverb
  • pre·place, verb (used with object), pre·placed, pre·plac·ing.
  • un·placed, adjective
  • well-placed, adjective

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

How to use place in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for place (1 of 2)


/ (pleɪs) /

  1. a particular point or part of space or of a surface, esp that occupied by a person or thing

  2. a geographical point, such as a town, city, etc

  1. a position or rank in a sequence or order

    • an open square lined with houses of a similar type in a city or town

    • (capital when part of a street name): Grosvenor Place

  2. space or room

  3. a house or living quarters

  4. a country house with grounds

  5. any building or area set aside for a specific purpose

  6. a passage in a book, play, film, etc: to lose one's place

  7. proper or appropriate position or time: he still thinks a woman's place is in the home

  8. right or original position: put it back in its place

  9. suitable, appropriate, or customary surroundings (esp in the phrases out of place, in place)

  10. right, prerogative, or duty: it is your place to give a speech

  11. appointment, position, or job: a place at college

  12. position, condition, or state: if I were in your place

    • a space or seat, as at a dining table

    • (as modifier): place mat

  13. maths the relative position of a digit in a number: See also decimal place

  14. any of the best times in a race

  15. horse racing

    • British the first, second, or third position at the finish

    • US and Canadian the first or usually the second position at the finish

    • (as modifier): a place bet

  16. theatre one of the three unities: See unity (def. 8)

  17. archaic an important position, rank, or role

  18. all over the place in disorder or disarray

  19. another place British parliamentary procedure

    • (in the House of Commons) the House of Lords

    • (in the House of Lords) the House of Commons

  20. give place to someone to make room for or be superseded by someone

  21. go places informal

    • to travel

    • to become successful

  22. in place of

    • instead of; in lieu of: go in place of my sister

    • in exchange for: he gave her it in place of her ring

  23. know one's place to be aware of one's inferior position

  24. pride of place the highest or foremost position

  25. put someone in his place to humble someone who is arrogant, conceited, forward, etc

  26. take one's place to take up one's usual or specified position

  27. take the place of to be a substitute for

  28. take place to happen or occur

  29. the other place facetious

    • (at Oxford University) Cambridge University

    • (at Cambridge University) Oxford University

verb(mainly tr)
  1. to put or set in a particular or appropriate place

  2. to find or indicate the place of

  1. to identify or classify by linking with an appropriate context: to place a face

  2. to regard or view as being: to place prosperity above sincerity

  3. to make (an order, a bet, etc)

  4. to find a home or job for (someone)

  5. to appoint to an office or position

  6. (often foll by with) to put under the care (of)

  7. to direct or aim carefully

  8. (passive) British to cause (a racehorse, greyhound, athlete, etc) to arrive in first, second, third, or sometimes fourth place

  9. (intr) US and Canadian (of a racehorse, greyhound, etc) to finish among the first three in a contest, esp in second position

  10. to invest (funds)

  11. to sing (a note) with accuracy of pitch

  12. to insert (an advertisement) in a newspaper, journal, etc

Origin of place

C13: via Old French from Latin platēa courtyard, from Greek plateia, from platus broad; compare French plat flat

British Dictionary definitions for Place (2 of 2)


/ (pleɪs) /

  1. Francis. 1771–1854, British radical, who campaigned for the repeal (1824) of the Combination Acts, which forbade the forming of trade unions, and for parliamentary reform

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with place


In addition to the idiom beginning with place

  • place in the sun

also see:

  • all over the place
  • between a rock and a hard place
  • fall in place
  • friend in court (high places)
  • go places
  • have one's heart in the right place
  • in place
  • in someone's shoes (place)
  • instead (in place) of
  • in the first place
  • jumping-off place
  • know one's place
  • out of place
  • pride of place
  • put someone in his or her place
  • run in place
  • take place
  • take someone's place

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