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[air-ee-uh] /ˈɛər i ə/
any particular extent of space or surface; part:
the dark areas in the painting; the dusty area of the room.
a geographical region; tract:
the Chicago area; the unsettled areas along the frontier.
any section reserved for a specific function:
the business area of a town; the dining area of a house.
extent, range, or scope:
inquiries that embrace the whole area of science.
field of study, or a branch of a field of study:
Related areas of inquiry often reflect borrowed notions.
a piece of unoccupied ground; an open space.
the space or site on which a building stands; the yard attached to or surrounding a house.
British, areaway (def 1).
the quantitative measure of a plane or curved surface; two-dimensional extent.
Anatomy. a zone of the cerebral cortex having a specific function:
The damage to Broca's area affected his speech.
Origin of area
1530-40; < Latin ārea vacant piece of level ground, open space in a town, threshing floor; perhaps akin to ārēre to be dry. See arid
Related forms
areal, adjective
areally, adverb
Can be confused
area, aria. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for area
  • The area of attachment of a cranial nerve to the surface of the brain is termed its superficial or apparent origin.
  • The first digitation is inserted into a triangular area on the ventral surface of the medial angle.
  • Makes sense because a smaller body means a bigger surface area to body volume and more efficient heat dumping.
  • Open up and flatten a chicken so more surface area can get a smoky char.
  • One way to boost the performance of any solar cell is to increase the surface area available to incoming light.
  • Check out prices on recent sales in your area from public records.
  • If your institution feels that faculty need training in this area, then provide it.
  • The same is true for an area of beach.
  • Macon County is an agricultural area.
  • Common area amenities include heated pool, hot tub, parking spot and fitness facility.
British Dictionary definitions for area


any flat, curved, or irregular expanse of a surface
  1. the extent of a two-dimensional surface enclosed within a specified boundary or geometric figure: the area of Ireland, the area of a triangle
  2. the two-dimensional extent of the surface of a solid, or of some part thereof, esp one bounded by a closed curve: the area of a sphere
a section, portion, or part: an area of the body, an area of the sky
region; district; locality: a mountainous area
  1. a geographical division of administrative responsibility
  2. (as modifier): area manager
a part or section, as of a building, town, etc, having some specified function or characteristic: reception area, commercial area, slum area
Also called areaway. a sunken area, usually enclosed, giving light, air, and sometimes access to a cellar or basement
the range, extent, or scope of anything
a subject field or field of study
any unoccupied or unused flat open piece of ground
the ground on which a building stands, or the ground surrounding a building
(anatomy) any of the various regions of the cerebral cortex
(computing) any part of a computer memory assigned to store data of a specified type
Derived Forms
areal, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: level ground, open space, threshing-floor; related to ārēre to be dry
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 area

1530s, "vacant piece of ground," from Latin area "level ground, open space," used of building sites, playgrounds, threshing floors, etc.; of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to arere "to become dry," on notion of a burned clearing or dry, bare space. The generic sense of "amount of surface (whether open or not) contained within any set of limits" is from 1845. Area code in North American telephone systems is attested from 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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area in Medicine

area ar·e·a (âr'ē-ə)
n. pl. ar·e·as or ar·e·ae (-ē-ē')

  1. A circumscribed surface or space.

  2. All of a part that is supplied by a given artery or nerve.

  3. A part of an organ having a special function.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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area in Science
The extent of a surface or plane figure as measured in square units.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with area


see: gray area
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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