American English

Definition of place noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a particular position, point, or area Is this the place where it happened? This would be a good place for a picnic. I can't be in two places at once.
  2. city/town/building
  3. 2[countable] a particular city, town, building, etc. I can't remember all the places we visited in Thailand. I used to live in Seattle, and I'm still fond of the place. The police searched the place. We were looking for a place to eat. Let's get out of this place!
  4. 3[countable] (especially in compounds or phrases) a building or an area of land used for a particular purpose a meeting place The town has many excellent eating places. churches and other places of worship He can usually be contacted at his place of work. see also resting place
  5. home
  6. 4[singular] a house or apartment; a person's home What about dinner at my place? I'm fed up with living with my parents, so I'm looking for a place of my own. I thought I'd better clean the place up.
  7. area on surface
  8. 5[countable] a particular area on a surface, especially on a person's body He broke his arm in three places. The paint was peeling off the wall in places.
  9. in book/speech, etc.
  10. 6[countable] a point in a book, speech, piece of music, etc., especially one that someone has reached at a particular time She had marked her place with a bookmark. Excuse me, I seem to have lost my place. The audience laughed in all the right places. This is one of the few places in his work where he mentions his childhood.
  11. seat
  12. 7[countable] a position, seat, etc., especially one that is available for or being used by a person or vehicle Come and sit here—I've saved you a place. I don't want to lose my place in the line. Would you like to change places with me so you can see better? I've set a place for you at the table.
  13. role/importance
  14. 8[singular] place (in something) the role or importance of someone or something in a particular situation, usually in relation to others He is assured of his place in history. Accurate reporting takes second place to lurid detail. My father believed that people should know their place (= behave according to their social position). It's not your place (= your role) to give advice. Anecdotes have no place in (= are not acceptable in) an academic essay.
  15. on team/in activity
  16. 9[countable] an opportunity to play for a team or take part in something She has won a place on the Olympic team. He lost his place on the team.
  17. correct position
  18. 10[countable] the natural or correct position for something Is there a place on the form to put your address? Put it back in its place when you've finished with it.
  19. safe area
  20. 11[countable] (usually with a negative) a suitable or safe area for someone to be These streets are no place for a child to be out alone at night.
  21. in race/competition
  22. 12[countable, usually singular] a position among the winners of a race or competition He finished in third place.
  23. street/square
  24. 13Place [singular] (abbreviation Pl.) used as part of a name for a short street or square 66 Portland Place
  25. mathematics
  26. 14[countable] the position of a figure after a decimal point The number is correct to three decimal places.
  27. Thesaurusplacesite area position point location scene spot venueThese are all words for a particular area or part of an area, especially one used for a particular purpose or where something is situated or a particular point, area, city, town, building, etc., especially one used for a particular purpose or where a particular thing happens:This would be a good place for a the place where something, especially a building, is or will be situated; a place where something happened or that is used for a particular purpose:They've chosen a site for the new school.area a part of a room, building, or particular space that is used for a special purpose; a particular place on an object:the hotel reception area Move the cursor to a blank area on the screen.position the place where a person or thing is situated; the place where someone or something is meant to be:From his position at the top of the hill, he could see the harbor. The position of someone or something is often temporary: the place where the person or thing is at a particular time.point a particular place within an area, where something happens or is supposed to happen:the point at which the river divideslocation a place where something happens or exists, especially a place that is not named or not known:The company is moving to a new location.scene a place where something happens, especially something unpleasant:the scene of the accidentspot a particular point or area, especially one that has a particular character or where something particular happens:I proposed to your mother on this very spot 50 years ago.venue the place where people meet for an organized event such as a performance or a sports event:Please note the change of venue for this event.Patterns at a/the place/site/position/point/location/scene/spot/venue in a(n) place/area/position/location/venue the place/site/point/location/spot/venue where… the right place/site/position/location/spot/venue a central site/position/location/venue the/something's exact/precise place/site/position/point/location/spotIdioms
      all over the place/lot (informal)
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    1. 1everywhere New restaurants are appearing all over the place.
    2. 2not neat or clean; not well organized Your calculations are all over the place (= completely wrong).
    be going places
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    to be getting more and more successful in your life or career a young architect who's really going places
    (caught/stuck) between a rock and a hard place
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    in a situation where you have to choose between two things, both of which are unpleasant
    change/swap places (with somebody)
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    (usually used in negative sentences) to be in someone else's situation I'm perfectly happy—I wouldn't change places with anyone.
    fall into place
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    if something complicated or difficult to understand falls into place, it becomes organized or clear in your mind Then I found his diary and it all began to fall into place.
    somebody's heart is in the right place
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    used to say that someone's intentions are kind and sincere even though they sometimes do the wrong thing
    if I was/were in your place
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    used to introduce a piece of advice you are giving to someone If I were in your place, I'd resign immediately.
    in the first place
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    used at the end of a sentence to talk about why something was done or whether it should have been done or not I still don't understand why you chose that name in the first place. I should never have taken that job in the first place.
    in the first, second, etc. place
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    used at the beginning of a sentence to introduce the different points you are making in an argument Well, in the first place, he has all the right qualifications.
    in my, your, etc. place
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    in my, your, etc. situation I wouldn't want to be in your place.
    1. 1(also into place) in the correct position; ready for something Carefully lay each slab in place. The receiver had already clicked into place.
    2. 2working or ready to work All the arrangements are now in place for their visit. How long has the import ban been in place?
    3. 3in one exact place, without moving in any direction Running in place is good exercise.
    in place of somebody/something, in somebody's/something's place
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     instead of someone or something You can use milk in place of cream in this recipe. He was unable to come to the ceremony, but he sent his son to accept the award in his place.
    not have a hair out of place
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    (of a person) to look extremely clean and neat
      out of place
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    1. 1not in the correct place Some of these files seem to be out of place.
    2. 2not suitable for a particular situation Her remarks were out of place. I felt completely out of place among all these successful people.
    a place in the sun
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    a position in which you are comfortable or have an advantage over other people
    pride of place
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    the position in which something is most easily seen that is given to the most important thing in a particular group The photo was given pride of place on the mantel.
    put somebody in their place
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    to make someone feel stupid or embarrassed for showing too much confidence At first she tried to take charge of the meeting but I soon put her in her place.
    put yourself in somebody else's/somebody's place
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    to imagine that you are in someone else's situation Of course I was upset—just put yourself in my place.
    to happen, especially after previously being arranged or planned The film festival takes place in October. We may never discover what took place that night.
    take somebody's/something's place, take the place of somebody/something
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     to replace someone or something She couldn't attend the meeting so her assistant took her place. Computers have taken the place of typewriters in today's offices.
      take your place
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    1. 1to go to the physical position that is necessary for an activity Take your places for the race.
    2. 2to take or accept the status in society that is correct or that you deserve
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: place