area (n.)

1530s, "vacant piece of ground," from Latin area "level ground, open space," used of building sites, playgrounds, threshing floors, etc.; which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps an irregular derivation from arere "to become dry" (see arid), on notion of "bare space cleared by burning." The generic sense of "any particular amount of surface (whether open or not) contained within any set of limits" is from 1560s. Area code in the North American telephone systems is attested from 1959.

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Definitions of area from WordNet

area (n.)
a particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography);
it was a mountainous area
Synonyms: country
area (n.)
a subject of study;
areas of interest include...
it was his area of specialization
area (n.)
a part of an animal that has a special function or is supplied by a given artery or nerve;
Synonyms: region
area (n.)
a particular environment or walk of life;
it was a closed area of employment
Synonyms: sphere / domain / orbit / field / arena
area (n.)
a part of a structure having some specific characteristic or function;
the spacious cooking area provided plenty of room for servants
area (n.)
the extent of a 2-dimensional surface enclosed within a boundary;
it was about 500 square feet in area
the area of a rectangle
Synonyms: expanse / surface area