pe·​riph·​ery | \ pə-ˈri-f(ə-)rē How to pronounce periphery (audio) \
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

Yet most of the world is not a center, but a margin—by definition the periphery is larger and more extensive than the core. Wade Graham, Smithsonian, "Why Molokai, With All Its Wonders, Is the Least Developed of Hawai’i’s Islands," 31 Aug. 2019 Many people in Germany’s rural, eastern periphery feel left behind. Washington Post, "Far-right party eyes big gains in German state elections," 29 Aug. 2019 Such structures dominate the peripheries of cities across what was once the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "Ugly or Beautiful? The Housing Blocks Communism Left Behind," 6 Aug. 2019 There are still very few people or companies that want to represent the periphery. Shasta Darlington, Billboard, "How KondZilla Took Funk Out of the Favelas and Into the Mainstream," 18 July 2019 Even Myles Garrett, who was on the sideline talking with his dad when the fracas broke out, ended up on the periphery of things. Dan Labbe,, "Browns’ Freddie Kitchens following joint practice scuffle: ‘At some point, you’ve got to stand up for yourself’," 14 Aug. 2019 Audubon officials say the property is one of the largest, most ecologically valuable parcels on the periphery of the park. USA TODAY, "Milestone rhino, Bigfoot shooting, jailed for feeding cats: News from around our 50 states," 1 Aug. 2019 That’s because the major Democratic opportunity — to mobilize nonwhite and young voters on the periphery of politics — would disproportionately help Democrats in diverse, often noncompetitive states. Nate Cohn, New York Times, "Trump’s Electoral College Edge Could Grow in 2020, Rewarding Polarizing Campaign," 19 July 2019 The area could start feeling some impacts from the storm on Saturday or Sunday, when stronger thunderstorms developing on the periphery of Barry will be capable of bringing strong winds, the weather service said. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "Tropical Storm Barry may bring gusty winds, thunderstorms to the Houston area this weekend," 12 July 2019

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

2 Sep 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

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


pe·​riph·​ery | \ pə-ˈrif-(ə-)rē How to pronounce periphery (audio) \
plural peripheries

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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Comments on periphery

What made you want to look up periphery? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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