Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, open space, from Latin platea broad street, from Greek plateia (hodos), from feminine of platys broad, flat; akin to Sanskrit pṛthu broad, Latin planta sole of the foot
Date: 13th century
a. physical environment ; space
b. a way for admission or transit
c. physical surroundings ; atmosphere
a. an indefinite region or expanse <all over the place> b. a building or locality used for a special purpose <a place of learning> <a fine eating place> c. archaic the three-dimensional compass of a material object 3. a. a particular region, center of population, or location <a nice place to visit> b. a building, part of a building, or area occupied as a home <our summer place> 4. a particular part of a surface or body ; spot 5. relative position in a scale or series: as a. position in a social scale <kept them in their place> b. a step in a sequence <in the first place, it's none of your business> c. a position at the conclusion of a competition <finished in last place> 6. a. a proper or designated niche or setting <the place of education in society> b. an appropriate moment or point <this is not the place to discuss compensation — Robert Moses> c. a distinct condition, position, or state of mind <the postfeminist generation is in a different place — Betty Friedan> 7. a. an available seat or accommodation <needs a place to stay> b. an empty or vacated position <new ones will take their place> 8. the position of a figure in relation to others of a row or series; especially the position of a digit within a numeral 9. a. remunerative employment ; job b. prestige accorded to one of high rank ; status <an endless quest for preferment and place — Time> 10. a public square ; plaza 11. a small street or court 12. second place at the finish (as of a horse race) II. verb (placed; placing) Date: 15th century transitive verb 1. a. to put in or as if in a particular place or position ; set b. to present for consideration <a question placed before the group> c. to put in a particular state <place a performer under contract> d. to direct to a desired spot e. to cause (the voice) to produce free and well resonated singing or speaking tones 2. a. to assign to a position in a series or category ; rank b. estimate <placed the value of the estate too high> c. to identify by connecting with an associated context <couldn't quite place her face> <police placed them at the crime scene> 3. to distribute in an orderly manner ; arrange 4. to appoint to a position 5. to find a place (as a home or employment) for 6. a. to give (an order) to a supplier b. to give an order for <place a bet> c. to try to establish a connection for <place a telephone call> intransitive verb to earn a given spot in a competition; specifically to come in second (as in a horse race) • placeable adjective
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.