[ plas-er ]
/ ˈplæs ər /

noun Mining.

a surficial mineral deposit formed by the concentration of small particles of heavy minerals, as gold, rutile, or platinum, in gravel or small sands.
the site of a form of mining (placer mining) in which a placer deposit is washed to separate the gold or other valuable minerals.

Nearby words

  1. placentia,
  2. placentia bay,
  3. placentitis,
  4. placentography,
  5. placentoma,
  6. placer mining,
  7. placerville,
  8. placet,
  9. placid,
  10. placid, lake

Origin of placer

1835–45, Americanism; < American Spanish; Spanish: sandbank < Catalan placel, derivative of plaza open place; see plaza


[ pley-ser ]
/ ˈpleɪ sər /


a person who sets things in their place or arranges them.
a person or animal that is among the winners of a race or other contest.

Origin of placer

First recorded in 1570–80; place + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for placer

British Dictionary definitions for placer


/ (ˈplæsə) /


  1. surface sediment containing particles of gold or some other valuable mineral
  2. (in combination)placer-mining

Word Origin for placer

C19: from American Spanish: deposit, from Spanish plaza place

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

Science definitions for placer


[ plăsər ]

A surface deposit of minerals, such as gold or magnetite, laid down by a river. The minerals are usually concentrated in one area because they are relatively heavy and therefore settle out of the river's currents more quickly than lighter sediments such as silt and sand.♦ The extraction of minerals from placers, as by panning, washing, or dredging, is called placer mining.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.