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

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 However, traction alopecia tends to leave a fringe of hair intact at the periphery. Aley Arion, Essence, 1 Apr. 2022 Surrounded by an even better team and with another year of experience, Leary sits on the periphery of the Heisman race. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2022 These scatterable mines, banned under some interpretations of international law and never officially recorded during this war, have appeared only sparingly in Bezruky and elsewhere in the periphery of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. New York Times, 8 Apr. 2022 There is some blurring in the periphery (the edges of your field of vision through the lenses), but that's to be expected at this price. Scott Gilbertson, Wired, 12 Mar. 2022 All the great empires were wrecked in wars engaged on the periphery of their reign — a lesson republics should take seriously. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 6 Apr. 2022 On this album, there is a nice little group of people who have been on the periphery of our projects for years. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 25 Mar. 2022 The ball rebounded into the path of Kalulu on the periphery of the Empoli penalty box, who planted a wonderful arched finish around the onrushing Empoli players and into the bottom corner of Guglielmo Vicario’s goal. Emmet Gates, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 Banning content on the periphery of what is acceptable sets a frightening precedent, Paul says. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 11 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for periphery

Time Traveler

The first known use of periphery was circa 1568

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Dictionary Entries Near periphery

peripheral neuropathy



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Statistics for periphery

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Periphery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for periphery


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

More from Merriam-Webster on periphery

Nglish: Translation of periphery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of periphery for Arabic Speakers


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