Date: 900-1000
Language: Old French
Origin: 'open space', from Latin platea 'broad street', from Greek plateia (hodos), from platys 'broad, flat'


1 noun
place1 S1 W1 [countable]

area/space/building etc

a space or area, for example a particular point on a surface or a room, building, town, city etc:
Make sure you keep the key in a safe place.
I've spent the day dashing about from place to place.
The place was full of screaming children.
He was threatening to burn the place down.
She had never been back to the place where the accident happened.
The theatre bar was our usual meeting place.
We were living then in a place called Alberiga.
The wall was quite damp in places (=in some places).
place for
This is a great place for a holiday.
a place to do something
I couldn't find a place to park.
Did the accident happen at your place of work (=the place where you work)?
The Great Mosque has been a place of worship for Muslims for centuries.
see usage note position1


informal a house or apartment where someone lives:
They've got quite a big place on the outskirts of Leeds.
somebody's place
Do you want to come back to my place for coffee?
It took us ages to find a place to live.
He's staying with us until he can find a place of his own.

take place

to happen, especially after being planned or arranged:
The next meeting will take place on Thursday.
Talks between the two sides are still taking place.
Major changes are taking place in society.

space to sit or put something

a space where someone can sit, or a space where you can put something:
I might arrive a bit late, so could you save me a place?
There are still a few places left on the coach.
Make sure you put everything back in its proper place.
place for
Can you find a good place for this vase?

point in book/speech

a point that you have reached in a book or a speech:
This would be a good place to stop and answer any questions that people have.
I used a bookmark so that I wouldn't lose my place (=forget the point that I had reached).

opportunity to do something

if someone has a place somewhere, they have the opportunity to go there or join in an activity
place in
If you don't come to training you might lose your place in the team.
We've been trying to find her a place in a residential home.
place on
He was offered a place on the management committee.
There are still a couple of places left on the course.
place at
I've been offered a place at York University.


the role or important position that someone or something has in a situation or in society
somebody's place
the old idea that a woman's place is in the home
place in
He finally reached the summit of Everest and secured his place in history.
Working has a very important place in all our lives.

in place

a) in the correct position:
The chairs for the concert were nearly all in place.
The glass was held in place by a few pieces of sellotape.
b) existing and ready to be used:
Funding arrangements are already in place.

in place of somebody/something

also in somebody's/something's place instead of someone or something else:
In place of our advertised programme, we will have live coverage of the special memorial service.
The company flag had been taken down and in its place hung the Union Jack.
If I refused to go, they would send someone else in my place.

take the place of somebody/something

also take somebody's/something's place to exist or be used instead of someone or something else [= replace]:
Natural methods of pest control are now taking the place of chemicals.
I had to find someone to take Jenny's place.

in somebody's place

used to talk about what you would do if you were in someone else's situation:
What would you do in my place?
Try to put yourself in my place and think how you would feel.

be no place for somebody

to be a completely unsuitable place for someone:
This is no place for a child.

first/second/third etc place

first, second etc position in a race or competition:
He took second place in the long jump.

in the first place

a) used to introduce a series of points in an argument, discussion etc:
In the first place, I'm too busy, and in the second I don't really want to go.
b) used to talk about what someone did or should have done at the start of a situation:
I wish I'd never got involved in the first place!

take second place (to somebody/something)

to be less important than someone or something else:
She wasn't prepared to take second place in his life.

take your places

used to tell people to go to the correct place or position that they need to be in for an activity:
If you would like to take your places, the food will be served shortly.

all over the place

a) everywhere:
There was blood all over the place.
b) in a very untidy state:
She came in with her hair all over the place.

put somebody in their place

to show someone that they are not as clever or important as they think they are:
I soon put him in his place.

out of place

a) not suitable for a particular situation or occasion:
He never seemed to feel out of place at social functions.
The paintings looked strangely out of place.
b) not in the correct or usual position:
The kitchen was spotlessly clean, with nothing out of place.

it is not somebody's place (to do something)

if it is not your place to do something, you do not have the duty or right to do it:
It's not your place to criticize me!

have no place

formal to be completely unacceptable
have no place in
Capital punishment has no place in a modern society.

fall into place

a) if things fall into place in your mind, you suddenly realize and understand what is really happening:
Things were beginning to fall into place in my mind.
Everything suddenly fell into place.
b) if plans or events fall into place, they start to happen in the way that you hoped they would:
Eventually I got a job, and my life began to fall into place.

be going places

informal to start becoming successful in your life:
William is a young man who is definitely going places.

be in a good/bad etc place

American English informal to be in a good, bad etc situation

➔ a/my/your etc happy place

at happy (10)

➔ have/take pride of place

at pride1 (6)

position, place, location, where, there
Place is a very general word for talking about where something or someone is the place where they live Put this in a safe place.Position can be used to talk about the place where something is in relation to other things or places the position of the table in the roomLocation is used mainly in formal or business English to talk about where a building is a house in a central location the location of the new headquartersIn ordinary spoken English, it is more usual to use words like where, there, somewhere, anywhere to talk about the place where something or someone is This is where (NOT the place where) I live. My shoes were in the hall but they're not there (NOT in that place) now. Let's have lunch somewhere different (NOT in a different place) today.See also position

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