• enPR: pärʹ-səl, IPA: /ˈpɑɹsəl/
    • (AU) IPA: [ˈpʰaː.səɫ]
    • (RP) IPA: [ˈpʰɑː.səɫ]
    • (GA) IPA: [ˈpʰɑɹ.səɫ]

parcel (plural parcels)

  1. 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, […], 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.
  2. An individual consignment of cargo for shipment, regardless of size and form.
  3. A division of land bought and sold as a unit.
    I own a small parcel of land between the refinery and the fish cannery.
  4. (obsolete) A group of birds.
  5. An indiscriminate or indefinite number, measure, or quantity; a collection; a group.
    • circa 1602 William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, Act II, Scene 3,
      […] this youthful parcel
      Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
    • 1847, Herman Melville, Omoo, Part 2, Chapter 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 […]
  6. A small amount of food that has been wrapped up, for example a pastry.
  7. 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.
  • (package wrapped for shipment) package
  • (division of land bought and sold as a unit) plot
Related terms

Translations Translations Translations Verb

parcel (parcels, present participle parceling; past parceled, past participle parceled)

  1. To wrap something up into the form of a package.
  2. To wrap a strip around the end of a rope.
    Worm and parcel with the lay; turn and serve the other way.
  3. To divide and distribute by parts or portions; often with out or into.
    • 1592, William Shakespeare, Richard III (play), Act II, Scene 2,
      Their woes are parcell’d, mine are general.
    • 1667, John Dryden, The Indian Emperour, London: H. Herringman, Act I, Scene 2, p. 12,
      Those ghostly Kings would parcel out my pow’r,
      And all the fatness of my Land devour;
    • 1864, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Aylmer’s Field” in Enoch Arden, etc., London: Edward Moxon, pp. 94-95,
      Then the great Hall was wholly broken down,
      And the broad woodland parcell’d into farms;
  4. To add a parcel or item to; to itemize.
    • circa 1606 William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act V, Scene 2,
      […] that mine own servant should
      Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
      Addition of his envy!
Translations Translations Adverb

parcel (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Part or half; in part; partially.
    • circa 1597 William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act II, Scene 1,
      Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet […]
    • 1826, Walter Scott, Woodstock (novel), Chapter 4,
      […] as the worthy dame was parcel blind and more than parcel deaf, knowledge was excluded by two principal entrances […]
    • 1864, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Aylmer’s Field” in Enoch Arden, etc., London: Edward Moxon, p. 59,
      here was one [a hut] that, summer-blanch’d,
      Was parcel-bearded with the traveller’s-joy
      In Autumn, parcel ivy-clad;

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