From Middle English parcel, 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(ɹ)səl
- Hyphenation: par‧cel
parcel (plural parcels)
- A package wrapped for shipment.
- Synonym: package
- I saw a brown paper parcel on my doorstep.
- 1892, Walter Besant, chapter II, in The Ivory Gate […], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, […], 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.
- An individual item appearing on an invoice or receipt (only in the phrase bill of parcels).
- A division of land bought and sold as a unit.
- Synonym: plot
- 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.
- c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iii]:
- […] this youthful parcel
Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
- 1847 March 30, Herman Melville, chapter 2, in Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas; […], London: John Murray, […], OCLC 364546898, page 79:
- […] instead of sitting (as she ought to have done) by her good father and mother, she must needs run up into the gallery, and sit with a parcel of giddy creatures of her own age […]
- 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.
- 1731, John Arbuthnot, An essay concerning the nature of aliments, London: J. Tonson, Chapter 4, p. 85,
- The same Experiments succeed on two Parcels of the White of an Egg […]
- 1881, John Addington Symonds, The Renaissance in Italy, Volume 5, Part I, New York: Henry Holt, Chapter 1, p. 2,
- The parcels of the nation adopted different forms of self-government, sought divers foreign alliances.
- 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.
- To add a parcel or item to; to itemize.
- c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene ii]:
- […] 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.
- c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i]:
- Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet […]
- 1826, [Walter Scott], Woodstock; Or, The Cavalier. […], volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, OCLC 991895633:
- […] as the worthy dame was parcel blind and more than parcel deaf, knowledge was excluded by two principal entrances […]
- “parcel” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- “parcel” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- parcel, lot (subdivided piece of land registred independently in official records)
- (informal) detached house
- Synonym: parcelhus
parcel m (plural parcéis)