1 of 3


neigh·​bor ˈnā-bər How to pronounce neighbor (audio)
: one living or located near another
had lunch with her next-door neighbor
: fellow man
thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyselfMatthew 19:19 (King James Version)


2 of 3


: being immediately adjoining or relatively near


3 of 3


neighbored; neighboring ˈnā-b(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce neighbor (audio)

transitive verb

: to adjoin immediately or lie relatively near to

intransitive verb

: to live or be located as a neighbor
: to associate in a neighborly way

Example Sentences

Noun We invited our friends and neighbors. Canada is a neighbor of the U.S. Venus is Earth's nearest neighbor. Verb the baseball field neighbors a parking lot
Recent Examples on the Web
The alleged shooter, Wallace Mannin Kirkland, 59, of Sorrento, Florida, was standing on the side of a road with his wife and their neighbor when another man drove by in a dune buggy, according to an arrest affidavit. Peter Charalambous, ABC News, 17 May 2023 According to the United Nations, India surpassed its neighbor China, which was previously the world’s most populous nation, in late April. Jacob Livesay, USA TODAY, 17 May 2023 The canine was living off the generosity of neighbors and scrounging for scraps. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 16 May 2023 Over the course of two legs — both held at San Siro — his Inter team swept past its neighbor, rival and housemate, A.C. Milan, to reach its first Champions League final for 13 years. Andrew Das, New York Times, 16 May 2023 Though close to its neighbors, it’s shrouded in privacy thanks to towering palms and high fences. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 16 May 2023 The United States, along with other Western partners, has expressed concern about providing Ukraine with longer-range weapons, wary that Kyiv would use the munitions to strike inside Russia and escalate an already worrying conflict with its nuclear-armed neighbor. Serhiy Morgunov, Washington Post, 15 May 2023 To keep visitors from disturbing neighbors near the original Lazy Lane entrance, Hogg built a pedestrian suspension bridge over the bayou on the property's secluded west side. Robin Soslow, Chron, 13 May 2023 Creating the toric code on Google’s processor amounts to forcing each qubit to strictly cooperate with its neighbors by gently nudging them with microwave pulses. Charlie Wood, Quanta Magazine, 9 May 2023
Some non-neighbor friends are appalled. Amy Dickinson, Chicago Tribune, 17 Nov. 2022
The shelter is in Rush County, about 45 miles southeast of Indianapolis, In addition, someone left 15 other dogs in neighboring southern Decatur County, the shelter posted on Facebook. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 24 May 2023 In neighboring Porter County, turnout was at 10.6%, according to the Porter County Board of Elections. Carrie Napoleon, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2023 In the River Valley, Sebastian County ranked as the 16th wettest in the state while neighboring Crawford County came in 48th wettest. Tony Reyes, Arkansas Online, 12 May 2023 Both Syria and neighboring Lebanon have become gateways for the drug to the Middle East, and particularly to the the Gulf. Bassem Mroue And Kareem Chehayeb,, 8 May 2023 His wife told authorities last year that Oropesa was staying with a sister in Conroe, which is in neighboring Montgomery County. Antonio Planas, NBC News, 3 May 2023 Twice this week, explosions have derailed trains in the Bryansk region neighboring Ukraine. Haley Willis, New York Times, 3 May 2023 Changes in the region’s balance of power could also upset neighboring Eritrea’s fragile alliances. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2023 This week, the 22-year-old, who lives in neighboring Guangzhou, visited Hong Kong with a friend to pay tribute to his idol. Kanis Leung, ajc, 1 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'neighbor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from Old English nēahgebūr (akin to Old High German nāhgibūr); akin to Old English nēah near and Old English gebūr dweller — more at nigh, boor

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1530, in the meaning defined above


circa 1586, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of neighbor was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near neighbor

Cite this Entry

“Neighbor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
neigh·​bor ˈnā-bər How to pronounce neighbor (audio)
: a person who lives near another
: a person or thing located near another
Canada is a neighbor of the U.S.
: a fellow human being


2 of 2 verb
neighbored; neighboring
: to be next to or near to
neighboring towns


Old English nēahgebūr "neighbor," from nēah "near" + gebūr "dweller" — related to near, nigh

Word Origin
The words near and nigh are both related to—and have the same meaning as—the Old English word nēah. Another word which can be traced, at least in part, to nēah is neighbor. The combination of nēah, meaning "near," and gebūr, meaning "dweller," produced the Old English word nēahgebūr. This word was used for "a person living near another." The pronunciation and spelling of nēahgebūr has changed over the centuries to give us neighbor, but the word's basic meaning has remained the same.

More from Merriam-Webster on neighbor

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