Borrowed from Old French parcelle (“a small piece or part, a parcel, a particle”), from Vulgar Latin *particella, diminutive of Latin particula (“particle”), diminutive of pars (“part, piece”). Doublet of particle.
- enPR: pärʹ-səl, IPA(key): /ˈpɑɹsəl/
- Rhymes: -ɑː(r)səl
- Hyphenation: par‧cel
parcel (plural parcels)
- A package wrapped for shipment.
I saw a brown paper parcel on my doorstep.
1892, Walter Besant, chapter II, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, OCLC 16832619:
- At twilight in the summer […] the mice come out. They […] eat the luncheon crumbs. Mr. Checkly, for instance, always brought his dinner in a paper parcel in his coat-tail pocket, and ate it when so disposed, sprinkling crumbs lavishly […] on the floor.
1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Lisson Grove Mystery:
- “H'm !” he said, “so, so—it is a tragedy in a prologue and three acts. I am going down this afternoon to see the curtain fall for the third time on what […] will prove a good burlesque ; but it all began dramatically enough. It was last Saturday […] that two boys, playing in the little spinney just outside Wembley Park Station, came across three large parcels done up in American cloth. […] ”
- An individual consignment of cargo for shipment, regardless of size and form.
- A division of land bought and sold as a unit.
I own a small parcel of land between the refinery and the fish cannery.
- (obsolete) A group of birds.
- An indiscriminate or indefinite number, measure, or quantity; a collection; a group.
- A small amount of food that has been wrapped up, for example a pastry.
- A portion of anything taken separately; a fragment of a whole; a part.
A certain piece of land is part and parcel of another piece.
- To wrap something up into the form of a package.
- To wrap a strip around the end of a rope.
- To divide and distribute by parts or portions; often with out or into.
- Their woes are parcelled, mine are general.
- These ghostly kings would parcel out my power.
- the broad woodland parcelled into farms
- To add a parcel or item to; to itemize.
- That mine own servant should / Parcel the sum of my disgraces by / Addition of his envy.
parcel (not comparable)
- (obsolete) Part or half; in part; partially.
- William Shakespeare
- a parcel-gilt goblet
- Sir Walter Scott
- The worthy dame was parcel-blind.
- One that […] was parcel-bearded.
- William Shakespeare
- parcel in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- parcel in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
parcel m (plural parcéis)