General English

  • noun where something is usually kept
  • noun a position in a race
  • verb to put something somewhere

General Science

  • verb to put something in position


  • noun a space or area


  • noun a job



  • verb to hit the ball skilfully through the gaps in the field so as to derive the maximum benefit from a shot
    Citation ‘Zaheer … was making the most of the brief respite afforded by the off-spin of Gomes, placing the ball with deft skill and honeyed timing’ (Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Cricketer August 1983)

Origin & History of “place”

A place is etymologically a ‘broad’ area. The word comes ultimately from the Greek expression plateia hodós ‘broad way’ (the adjective platús ‘broad’ is probably related to English flat). Plateia came to be used on its own as a noun, and passed into Latin as platea ‘broad street, open area’. this became changed in post-classical times to *plattja, which passed into English via Old French place. Probably the closest the English word comes to its ancestral meaning is as a street name (as in Portland Place), introduced under French influence in the late 16th century, which originally denoted more an ‘open square’ than a ‘street’. But closer still are piazza (16th c.) and plaza (17th c.), borrowed respectively from the Italian and Spanish versions of the word.

The homophonous plaice the fish-name is a distant relative.