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[plah-zuh, plaz-uh] /ˈplɑ zə, ˈplæz ə/
a public square or open space in a city or town.
an area along an expressway where public facilities, as service stations and rest rooms, are available.
Origin of plaza
1675-85; < Spanish < Latin platea street < Greek plateîa broad street. See place Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for plaza
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They had heard the news, and dashed to the plaza in search of the truth.

    Vision House C. N. Williamson
  • There were six thousand natives in the plaza, and not a sign of the invaders.

    Despoilers of the Golden Empire Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Then he backed out into the Street and, wheeling, galloped across the plaza and again faced the saloon.

    Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up Clarence Edward Mulford
  • And from the direction of the plaza Grande the ringing of bells.

    The Free Lances Mayne Reid
  • By the rate the work went on in the plaza, he was worth the expense.

    The Belted Seas Arthur Colton
British Dictionary definitions for plaza


/ˈplɑːzə; Spanish ˈplaθa/
an open space or square, esp in Spain or a Spanish-speaking country
(mainly US & Canadian)
  1. a modern complex of shops, buildings, and parking areas
  2. (capital when part of a name): Rockefeller Plaza
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish, from Latin platēa courtyard, from Greek plateia; see 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
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Word Origin and History for plaza

1830, from Spanish plaza "square, place," from Vulgar Latin *plattia, from Latin platea "courtyard, broad street" (see place (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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