French base grande surface

Dictionary entry: grande surface


To me, the English word "supermarket" refers only to a large grocery store that sells mostly food. It seems that "grande surface" has a broader meaning in French and might refer to any kind of big-box store.
  • DrD

    Senior Member
    Dictionary Editor
    England English

    You are correct about the English word supermarket. However, the French base has given this term a sense of 'supermarché', which rather constrains me to translate accordingly. In my own experience, grande surface nearly always seems to mean a supermarket or hypermarket, but I'm going to ask the French base for clarification on this (it may be that we need more than one sense).

    @Lacuzon penses-tu que le sens de 'supermarché' est assez précis ? Peut-on, par exemple, dire qu'Ikea, qui n'est pas un supermarché (but is a big-box store) est une grande surface ?


    Senior Member
    Dictionary Editor
    French - France

    Graindesel is right. We could have grande surface d'ameublement, grande surface alimentaire, grande surface d'article de sports, grande surface de bricolage... I added a meaning (officially: more than 400 m²).