[plah-zuh, plaz-uh]
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.

1675–85; < Spanish < Latin platea street < Greek plateîa broad street. See place Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
plaza (ˈplɑːzə, Spanish ˈplaθa)
1.  an open space or square, esp in Spain or a Spanish-speaking country
2.  chiefly (US), (Canadian)
 a.  a modern complex of shops, buildings, and parking areas
 b.  (capital when part of a name): Rockefeller Plaza
[C17: from Spanish, from Latin platēa courtyard, from Greek plateia; see place]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1683, from Sp. plaza "square, place," from V.L. *plattia, from L. platea "courtyard, broad street" (see place (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Each settlement is organized around a central plaza and linked to others via
  precisely placed roads.
He likes to take visitors onto the balcony of the town hall and challenge them
  to spot a scrap of paper in the plaza.
Studies have shown that automated systems result in major decreases in toll
  plaza delays and air pollution.
Outside, the trees on the plaza start to fade into twilight.
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