Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A flat open stretch of pavement or grass, especially one designed as a promenade along a shore.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A clear space between a citadel and the nearest houses of the town.
  • n. The glacis of the counterscarp, or the slope of the parapet of the covered way toward the country.
  • n. A grass plat; a lawn.
  • n. Any clear, level space used for public walks or drives; esp., a terrace by the seaside.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. A clear space between a citadel and the nearest houses of the town.
  • n. The glacis of the counterscarp, or the slope of the parapet of the covered way toward the country.
  • n. A grass plat; a lawn.
  • n. Any clear, level space used for public walks or drives; esp., a terrace by the seaside.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In fort.; The glacis of the counterscarp, or the sloping of the parapet of the covered way toward the country.
  • n. The open space between the glacis of a citadel and the first houses of the town.
  • n. Any open level space or course near a town, especially a kind of terrace along the seaside, for public walks or drives.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a long stretch of open level ground (paved or grassy) for walking beside the seashore

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from Italian spianata, from spianare, to level, from Latin explānāre, to make plain; see explain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1590s, from French esplanade ("clear, level space"), from Spanish esplanada (explanada), form of esplanar ("to flatten, to make level"), from Latin explānāre, from which English explain; see also plain ("level area, to flatten"), and Italian spianata, from spianare.

Examples

  • The town-head fronted the upper bay, and between it and the grinding ice on the shore lay a broad tract of what might be called esplanade, presenting ample space for our encounter.

    John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

  • In front of the esplanade is the splendid pile commenced by Charles V, intended, it is said, to eclipse the residence of the Moslem kings.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 8

  • Ellen Barfoot in her bath-chair on the esplanade was a prisoner -- civilization's prisoner -- all the bars of her cage falling across the esplanade on sunny days when the town hall, the drapery stores, the swimming-bath, and the memorial hall striped the ground with shadow.

    Jacob's Room

  • This declivity runs between detached villas and stone walls, sheltering prim gardens, right on to the west end of the esplanade, which is, in fact, a continuation of it.

    The Man Who Lost Himself

  • The esplanade was a broad walk extending the entire width of the building, and conforming to it.

    A Spoil of Office A Story of the Modern West

  • Before I had gained her house I met her, as I supposed, coming toward me across the down, greeting me from afar with the familiar twinkle of her great vitreous badge; and as it was late in the autumn and the esplanade was a blank I was free to acknowledge this signal by cutting a caper on the grass.

    Embarrassments

  • The wall of the esplanade was a continued series of pointed arches, with a handsome frieze above it.

    Across India Or, Live Boys in the Far East

  • It is built on an immense esplanade, which is mounted by three flights of stairs, each in the form of the three sides of a pyramid, and each leading to an immense pointed arch, the entrances to the buildings.

    Across India Or, Live Boys in the Far East

  • We then walked up the High Street, or esplanade, which is open to the river except where the shore is cumbered with boats, hides, lumber, and beach-negroes.

    To the Gold Coast for Gold A Personal Narrative in Two Volumes.—Volume I

  • The best point of view is, I think, from the esplanade, which is distant some five minutes 'walk from the hotels.

    North America — Volume 1

Comments

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  • To attempt an explanation while drunk. --Mensa word list winner 2006

    March 2, 2007