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

  • n. A glacial or alluvial deposit of sand or gravel containing eroded particles of valuable minerals.
  • n. A place where a placer deposit is washed to extract its mineral content.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who places or arranges something.
  • n. A lamb whose mother has died and which has transferred its attachment to an object, such as a bush or rock, in the locality.
  • n. A deposit of sand or earth in a river-bed etc. which contains particles of gold or other precious minerals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who places or sets.
  • n. A deposit of earth, sand, or gravel, containing valuable mineral in particles, especially by the side of a river, or in the bed of a mountain torrent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In mining, to mine by the hydraulic process; wash out (gold) from a bank by a stream of water.
  • n. One who places, locates, or sets.
  • n. In minning, a place where the superficial detritus is washed for gold or other valuable minerals: a word formerly in common use in California, but now nearly obsolete.
  • n. In ceramics, a workman in a pottery who places the unburned ware in the saggars and arranges the saggars in the kiln.

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

  • n. an alluvial deposit that contains particles of some valuable mineral


Spanish, shoal, placer, from Catalan placer, shoal, from plassa, place, from Medieval Latin placea; see place.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From place +‎ -er (“suffix forming agent noun”). (Wiktionary)
From place +‎ -er (“suffix apparently denoting association”). (Wiktionary)
From American Spanish placer, from earlier placel, apparently from obsolete Portuguese placel. (Wiktionary)



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