Definitions

pieds à terre

Pied-à-terre

[pee-ey-duh-tair, -dah-, pyey-]
A pied-à-terre is a small living unit typically located in a large city (typically an apartment or a condominium).

The phrase pied-à-terre literally translates from the French as "foot on the ground". This is said to be because pieds-à-terre were traditionally ground-floor apartments; however, more likely, the meaning of the phrase is "to have a foothold"; terre (ground, soil) referring to territory, rather than elevation.

A pied-à-terre is a residence that will be used temporarily, mostly as a second home. It is common in New York City realty for many building co-ops to prohibit pieds-à-terre because they only want buyers who will actually make the building/apartment their permanent place of residence.

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