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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


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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

Examples of neighbor in a Sentence

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
If the United States created opportunities for nearby neighbors to prosper that directly enhance the U.S. economy, Americans would see the advantages of shaping the world in ways that expand security and prosperity. Kori Schake, Foreign Affairs, 4 Dec. 2023 Lazaroff recalls taking down a neighbor’s fence to deal with a rotted electrical pole. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Dec. 2023 The site, steps from neighboring houses, had a problem with trespassers and no security guards on the property, multiple neighbors said. Ashley Ahn, Los Angeles Times, 2 Dec. 2023 How much to tip in Canada The U.S.’s northern neighbor has a lot in common with it in terms of tipping. Kevin J. Ryan,, 2 Dec. 2023 Before a scene can crystallize, before any wisdom can be extracted, you’ve been blunted by a neighbor’s pounding feet or blasting music, distressed by the pings of an irritating iPhone. Killian Wright-Jackson, Essence, 1 Dec. 2023 The two officers were at the home after a neighbor requested a welfare check because the home’s front door was open. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, 30 Nov. 2023 The person outside was Dean, who’d arrived with another Fort Worth police officer after a neighbor requested a welfare check on the home after noticing the door was ajar. Daniel Wu, Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2023 Much of her work follows the same pattern: First, choose some form of trendy life-style media (HGTV or cooking shows, makeup tutorials) that tells viewers how to be true to themselves while showing off for the neighbors. Jackson Arn, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2023
Some non-neighbor friends are appalled. Amy Dickinson, Chicago Tribune, 17 Nov. 2022
One is Eureka Valley, which includes Eureka Dunes, the tallest sand dunes in California, rising about 680 feet above the neighboring lake bed. Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times, 4 Dec. 2023 In the neighboring city of Shenzhen, she was taken to an exhibition documenting China’s achievements and to the headquarters of tech company Tencent. Elaine Yu, WSJ, 4 Dec. 2023 The lawsuit was filed Nov. 30, 1982, by the Little Rock School District against state officials and the neighboring North Little Rock and Pulaski County Special school districts. Cynthia Howell,, 3 Dec. 2023 The City Council’s vote comes after neighboring Chula Vista leaders approved a similar PLA in September. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Nov. 2023 The 25-mile stretch of Highway 550 connects Ouray and neighboring Silverton, home to the advanced and expert-only Silverton Mountain Ski Resort. Alex Schechter, Travel + Leisure, 27 Nov. 2023 In November 2019, attackers from a neighboring gang torched his shop with Molotov cocktails and shot him in the foot and groin. Jason Motlagh, Rolling Stone, 26 Nov. 2023 In the neighboring city of Bell, Ali Saleh, who is Muslim and of Lebanese descent, serves on the City Council. Alejandra Molina, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2023 Earlier this week, more than two dozen premature, low-birthweight babies were evacuated from Gaza into neighboring Egypt to receive emergency medical care. Sarah Beth Hensley, ABC News, 22 Nov. 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 9 Dec. 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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