verb (used with object), placed, plac·ing.

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

  1. to finish among the first three competitors in a race.
  2. to finish second in a horse race, harness race, etc.
to earn a specified standing with relation to others, as in an examination, competition, etc.: He placed fifth in a graduation class of 90.

Nearby words

  1. placas,
  2. placate,
  3. placation,
  4. placative,
  5. placatory,
  6. place card,
  7. place in the sun,
  8. place kick,
  9. place mat,
  10. place name


Origin of place

before 950; (noun) Middle English, conflation of Old English plæce and Middle French place, both < Latin platea, variant of platēa street, courtyard, area < Greek plateîa broad street, noun use of feminine of platýs broad, flat1; (v.) late Middle English, derivative of the noun; see platy-

1. location, locale, locality, site. 10. rank, employment. See position. 11. charge, responsibility. 14. section, sector. 30. situate, station. See put. 32. locate, set, deposit, lay, seat. 35. hire.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for places

British Dictionary definitions for places



a particular point or part of space or of a surface, esp that occupied by a person or thing
a geographical point, such as a town, city, etc
a position or rank in a sequence or order
  1. an open square lined with houses of a similar type in a city or town
  2. (capital when part of a street name)Grosvenor Place
space or room
a house or living quarters
a country house with grounds
any building or area set aside for a specific purpose
a passage in a book, play, film, etcto lose one's place
proper or appropriate position or timehe still thinks a woman's place is in the home
right or original positionput it back in its place
suitable, appropriate, or customary surroundings (esp in the phrases out of place, in place)
right, prerogative, or dutyit is your place to give a speech
appointment, position, or joba place at college
position, condition, or stateif I were in your place
  1. a space or seat, as at a dining table
  2. (as modifier)place mat
maths the relative position of a digit in a numberSee also decimal place
any of the best times in a race
horse racing
  1. Britishthe first, second, or third position at the finish
  2. US and Canadianthe first or usually the second position at the finish
  3. (as modifier)a place bet
theatre one of the three unitiesSee unity (def. 8)
archaic an important position, rank, or role
all over the place in disorder or disarray
another place British parliamentary procedure
  1. (in the House of Commons) the House of Lords
  2. (in the House of Lords) the House of Commons
give place to someone to make room for or be superseded by someone
go places informal
  1. to travel
  2. to become successful
in place of
  1. instead of; in lieu ofgo in place of my sister
  2. in exchange forhe gave her it in place of her ring
know one's place to be aware of one's inferior position
pride of place the highest or foremost position
put someone in his place to humble someone who is arrogant, conceited, forward, etc
take one's place to take up one's usual or specified position
take the place of to be a substitute for
take place to happen or occur
the other place facetious
  1. (at Oxford University) Cambridge University
  2. (at Cambridge University) Oxford University

verb (mainly tr)

to put or set in a particular or appropriate place
to find or indicate the place of
to identify or classify by linking with an appropriate contextto place a face
to regard or view as beingto place prosperity above sincerity
to make (an order, a bet, etc)
to find a home or job for (someone)
to appoint to an office or position
(often foll by with) to put under the care (of)
to direct or aim carefully
(passive) British to cause (a racehorse, greyhound, athlete, etc) to arrive in first, second, third, or sometimes fourth place
(intr) US and Canadian (of a racehorse, greyhound, etc) to finish among the first three in a contest, esp in second position
to invest (funds)
to sing (a note) with accuracy of pitch
to insert (an advertisement) in a newspaper, journal, etc

Word Origin for place

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



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

Word Origin and History for places
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with places


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.