place: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (plās), [key]
— n., v., placed, plac•ing.
  1. a particular portion of space, whether of definite or indefinite extent.
  2. space in general: time and place.
  3. the specific portion of space normally occupied by anything: The vase is in its place. Every item on the shelf had its place.
  4. a space, area, or spot, set apart or used for a particular purpose: a place of worship; a place of entertainment.
  5. any part or spot in a body or surface: a decayed place in a tree.
  6. a particular passage in a book or writing: to find the place where one left off reading.
  7. a space or seat for a person, as in a theater, train, etc.: Please save my place for me.
  8. position, situation, or circumstances: I would complain if I were in your place.
  9. a proper or appropriate location or position: A restaurant is not the place for an argument.
  10. a job, post, or office: persons in high places.
  11. a function or duty: It is not your place to offer criticism.
  12. proper sequence or relationship, as of ideas, details, etc.: My thoughts began to fall into place.
  13. high position or rank: aristocrats of power and place.
  14. a region or area: to travel to distant places.
  15. an open space, or square, as in a city or town.
  16. a short street, a court, etc.
  17. a portion of space used for habitation, as a city, town, or village: Trains rarely stop in that place anymore.
  18. a building, location, etc., set aside for a specific purpose: He will soon need a larger place for his expanding business.
  19. a part of a building: The kitchen is the sunniest place in the house.
  20. a residence, dwelling, or house: Please come and have dinner at my place.
  21. lieu; substitution (usually fol. by of&hasp;): Use yogurt in place of sour cream.
  22. a step or point in order of proceeding: in the first place.
  23. a fitting or promising opportunity: There's a place in this town for a man of his talents.
  24. a reasonable ground or occasion: This is no place for such an outburst.
    1. the position of a figure in a series, as in decimal notation.
    2. Usually,places.the figures of the series.
  25. one of the three unities. Cf.(def. 8).
    1. a position among the leading competitors, usually the first, second, or third at the finish line.
    2. the position of the competitor who comes in second in a horse race, harness race, etc. 29),win(def. 17).
  26. 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 gentry.
  28. The old gives place to the new.
    1. to give precedence or priority to:The old gives place to the new.
    2. to be succeeded or replaced by:Travel by trains has given place to travel by airplanes.
  29. to succeed or advance in one's career: He'll never go places if he stays in his hometown.
  30. Dinner is ready and everything is in place.
    1. in the correct or usual position or order:Dinner is ready and everything is in place.
    2. in the same spot, without advancing or retreating:Stand by your desk and jog in place for a few minutes of exercise.
  31. to recognize one's position or rank, esp. if inferior, and behave or act accordingly: They treated their servants well but expected them always to know their place.
  32. The library books are all out of place.
    1. not in the correct or usual position or order:The library books are all out of place.
    2. 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.
  33. to lower someone's self-esteem; humble, esp. an arrogant person: She put me in my place by reminding me who was boss.
  34. to happen; occur: The commencement exercises will take place outdoors unless it rains.
  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.
  3. to put in a suitable place for some purpose: to place an advertisement in the newspaper.
  4. to put into particular or proper hands: to place some incriminating evidence with the district attorney.
  5. to give (an order or the like) to a supplier: She placed the order for the pizza an hour ago.
  6. to appoint (a person) to a post or office: The president placed him in the Department of Agriculture.
  7. to find a place, situation, etc., for (a person): The agency had no trouble placing him with a good firm.
  8. to determine or indicate the place or value of: to place health among the greatest gifts in life.
  9. to assign a certain position or rank to: The army placed him in the infantry.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. to employ (the voice) for singing or speaking with consciousness of the bodily point of emphasis of resonance of each tone or register.
    1. to finish among the first three competitors in a race.
    2. to finish second in a horse race, harness race, etc.
  1. to earn a specified standing with relation to others, as in an examination, competition, etc.: He placed fifth in a graduation class of 90.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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