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

Cease arrives to a Sox team that’s on the periphery of the wild-card race, in spite of an underwhelming rotation of Lucas Giolito and pray for rain. Paul Sullivan,, "Dylan Cease is following in Michael Kopech’s footsteps — but just not with an all caps tweet from the White Sox this time," 2 July 2019 Grossman’s father, a former Menshevik, voluntarily exiled himself to a frozen yurt on the periphery of Kazakhstan to avoid the gulag. Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 24 June 2019 Photo: Agaton Strom for The Wall Street Journal The three master leases present a greater challenge than Turnstyle, which is on the periphery of Columbus Circle. Paul Berger, WSJ, "New York’s MTA Plans Retail Revamp of Highly Trafficked Subway Stations," 16 June 2019 But at the Ravinia Festival, for example, the screens stand on the periphery of the stage, giving the audience the option to watch, or not. Howard Reich,, "Grant Park Orchestra review: A visually daunting season-opener with Mayor Lori Lightfoot," 13 June 2019 Manchester City loanee Jack Harrison also appears to be closing in on a second season at Elland Road, while Helder Costa, who has been on the periphery of things at Wolves, is another potential target., "West Brom Agree Bilic Deal, Woodgate to Replace Pulis & Leeds in for Kent: Championship News Roundup," 12 June 2019 Finally, on the periphery of the championship chase sit a pair of former champions in Will Power (-84) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (-97). Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar wraps up grueling stretch with second half of Texas two-step," 5 June 2019 Even, that is, as the plastic vortex in the middle of the Pacific and, say, the ongoing struggle to care for an aging parent loomed at the periphery. Pilar Guzmán, Condé Nast Traveler, "Editor's Letter: The Wisdom of the Wild," 10 Oct. 2018 Several chauffeured black cars idle on the periphery. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Can Egypt Convince the World That It Is Starting Over?," 19 Mar. 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

8 Jul 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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