pe·​riph·​ery | \ pə-ˈri-f(ə-)rē \
plural peripheries

Definition of periphery 

1 : the perimeter of a circle or other closed curve also : the perimeter of a polygon
2 : the external boundary or surface of a body
3a : the outward bounds of something as distinguished from its internal regions or center : confines
b : an area lying beyond the strict limits of a thing

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Examples of periphery in a Sentence

the dogs are confined by an invisible electronic fence that runs along the periphery of the yard

Recent Examples on the Web

This means religious competition is not so much about core scriptural beliefs—but exists on the periphery of religious and welfare-service provision. Sriya Iyer, WSJ, "The Marketplace of Faith," 27 Dec. 2018 Currently on the periphery of Japan's international squad heading into the World Cup, getting a work permit for Muto to play the in the Premier League could prove problematic., "Mainz 05 Striker Reveals Premier League Ambition Amid Links With Summer Move to Newcastle," 3 May 2018 The Cincinnati Bengals, always lurking on the periphery of a young man in Northern Kentucky, became my new team. Richard Fitch,, "Guest TML: Who are Dey? We know. Don't we?," 19 Jan. 2018 Most of the growth is centered in its major cities, like Paris, and others on the periphery and in rural communities haven’t seen as many gains. Alex Ward, Vox, "France’s anti-Macron protests are turning deadlier," 3 Dec. 2018 The trip, featuring Francis' fondness for countries on the periphery, will be a welcome break for the Argentine pope. Nicole Winfield And Maria Grazia Murru, Fox News, "Pope begins Baltics pilgrimage as Russia threat looms large," 22 Sep. 2018 Blundering around the periphery of the story is an NSA assassin (Lakeith Stanfield) who only becomes crucial to the narrative very late in the game. Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times, "‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’: Lisbeth Salander gets trapped in a conventional spy thriller," 6 Nov. 2018 The most famous product is Google Glass, a wearable computer that augmented information into your periphery and recorded videos and photos. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Google turns 20: how an internet search engine reshaped the world," 5 Sep. 2018 All three groups agreed on the location of the city center, but mine mapped the city’s periphery differently. Annette M. Kim, The Atlantic, "Satellite Images Can Harm the Poorest Citizens," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'periphery.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of periphery

circa 1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for periphery

Middle French peripherie, from Late Latin peripheria, from Greek periphereia, from peripherein to carry around, from peri- + pherein to carry — more at bear

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Statistics for periphery

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for periphery

The first known use of periphery was circa 1568

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More Definitions for periphery



English Language Learners Definition of periphery

: the outside edge of an area : the area that surrounds a place or thing


pe·​riph·​ery | \ pə-ˈrif-(ə-)rē \
plural -eries

Medical Definition of periphery 

1 : the outward bounds of something as distinguished from its internal regions or center
2 : the regions (as the sense organs, the muscles, or the viscera) in which nerves terminate

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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