pre·​cinct | \ˈprē-ˌsiŋ(k)t \

Definition of precinct 

1 : a part of a territory with definite bounds or functions often established for administrative purposes : district: such as

a : a subdivision of a county, town, city, or ward for election purposes

b : a division of a city for police control

2a : an enclosure bounded by the walls of a building often used in plural

b : a sphere of thought, action, or influence often used in plural

3a precincts plural : the region immediately surrounding a place : environs

b : place, locale

4 : boundary often used in plural a ruined tower within the precincts of the squire's grounds— T. L. Peacock

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Examples of precinct in a Sentence

a sexist attitude that was pretty common in the precincts of the automobile business

Recent Examples on the Web

Bowser’s political strength is rooted in the precincts on the District’s west side. Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, "The story must be told.," 16 June 2018 It's being rolled out first in four precincts across the city, according to a police department directive shared with the New York Post. Tony Marco, CNN, "If you're stopped by the NYPD an officer will now give you a business card in case you want the bodycam footage," 9 May 2018 In this case, two were recounted, and results showed all of the ballots in those precincts were initially counted and they were all initially counted correctly, Bond said. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "6-vote difference unchanged after partial recount in Kane County board race," 26 Apr. 2018 The political usages of anti-anti-Confederate activity is becoming obvious in conservative precincts across the region. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "The Political Uses of The Anti-Anti-Confederacy," 19 Apr. 2018 Polls around the state closed at 8 p.m., but three precincts in Baltimore City that opened late will extend voting until 9 p.m., elections officials said. Washington Post, "Maryland Democrats choose between insurgents, establishment in crowded primary," 28 June 2018 With all precincts in New York’s 11th Congressional District reporting, Donovan took 64 percent of the vote to Grimm’s 36 percent. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Felon Michael Grimm Loses Primary to Trump-Backed Incumbent Dan Donovan," 27 June 2018 Weinstein emerged from the precinct in handcuffs—led pointedly by a female detective. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Harvey Weinstein’s Arrest Marks a Pivotal Turning Point for the #MeToo Movement," 25 May 2018 Not a single Republican vote was recorded in 62 separate Cuyahoga County precincts in Tuesday's gubernatorial primary, found in analyzing unofficial election returns from the 975 precincts. Rich Exner,, "No Republicans voted in 62 Cuyahoga County precincts in 2018 primary," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'precinct.' 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 precinct

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for precinct

Middle English, from Medieval Latin praecinctum, from Latin, neuter of praecinctus, past participle of praecingere to gird, encircle, from prae- pre- + cingere to gird — more at cincture

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Statistics for precinct

Last Updated

28 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for precinct

The first known use of precinct was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of precinct

: any one of the sections that a town or city is divided into when people vote in an election

: any one of the sections that a city is divided into for organizing the city's police forces

: a police station of a precinct


pre·​cinct | \ˈprē-ˌsiŋkt \

Kids Definition of precinct

1 : any of the sections into which a town or city is divided for a particular purpose (as voting or police protection)

2 : a surrounding or enclosed area Stay within school precincts.

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Comments on precinct

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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