pre·​cinct | \ ˈprē-ˌsiŋ(k)t How to pronounce precinct (audio) \

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

Voting results from several precincts are delayed. They were taken to the precinct for questioning.
Recent Examples on the Web Zeke discovers that the murders reveal a pattern of cop-killing throughout the city — with disembodied pig heads showing up at his police precinct — and soon finds himself in the middle of a sadistic torture game. Claire Shaffer, Rolling Stone, "Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson Hunt for Jigsaw in ‘Spiral’ Trailer," 30 Mar. 2021 It is considered Arizona’s smallest official community and has its own voter precinct. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, "Tortilla Flat is an easy day trip from Phoenix. Here are the best things to do there," 11 Mar. 2021 Banished to Staten Island, a homicide detective hopes a murder case is his ticket back to his Manhattan precinct. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘Gandhi’; ‘Forrest Gump’ and more," 26 Feb. 2021 Bond said Grogan will pay $10 per precinct for the partial recount. Rafael Guerrero,, "Recount in DuPage County auditor race separated by 75 votes to start Monday," 2 Dec. 2020 If the race is really close, the deposit is $25 per precinct. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan changed how it conducts election recounts. Here's how it would work this year," 22 Oct. 2020 Only up to two poll workers per precinct may be 16 or 18 years old. CBS News, "How do I vote in my state in the 2020 election?," 18 Sep. 2020 That’s one vote per precinct, which is a good reminder that every vote counts. USA Today, "Who is your Woman of the Century?," 13 Aug. 2020 Absentee ballots would also have to be requested 11 days before election day, and provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct would be disqualified. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Brian Kemp signs sweeping elections bill into law," 25 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for precinct

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for precinct

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Precinct.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for precinct



English Language Learners Definition of precinct

US : 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 How to pronounce precinct (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on precinct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for precinct

Nglish: Translation of precinct for Spanish Speakers

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