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[pahr-tair] /pɑrˈtɛər/
Also called parquet circle. the rear section of seats, and sometimes also the side sections, of the main floor of a theater, concert hall, or opera house.
an ornamental arrangement of flower beds of different shapes and sizes.
Origin of parterre
1630-40; < French, noun use of phrase par terre on the ground. See per, terra
Related forms
parterred, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for parterre
Historical Examples
  • He lives himself with his family in the parterre wohnung, or what we would call the first floor.

    The Chautauquan, Vol. III, January 1883 The Chautauquan Literary and Scientific Circle
  • And again the working bees, down in the parterre, attracted his attention.

  • A parterre of marguerites was laid out close to the terrace.

    The Tangled Skein Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
  • Nor were the dull-coloured occupants of the parterre alone in their attack.

  • I know a respectable German charwoman who earns 41 marks a month, and pays 25 marks a month for her parterre flat in the Hof.

    Home Life in Germany Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick
  • But she resumed: 'Would you like to go into the flower-garden, the parterre?

  • Attitudes of this kind have no other effect than to astonish the parterre.

  • She occupied the first floor, and he the parterre, or ground floor.

    Historic Oddities Sabine Baring-Gould
  • The parterre, extending before the main building, is of an ampleness scarcely conceivable until once viewed.

    Royal Palaces and Parks of France Milburg Francisco Mansfield
  • Then, finding all quiet, she stepped over the parterre, and ventured out on the walk.

    Hildebrand Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for parterre


a formally patterned flower garden
(Brit & Irish) the pit in a theatre
(US) another name for parquet circle
Word Origin
C17: from French, from par along + terre ground
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 parterre

1630s, from French parterre (1540s), from adverbial phrase par terre "over the ground;" see par + terrain

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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