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
4 : boundary often used in plurala 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 Police have also arrested two people on state charges of setting fire to a North Portland police precinct last week. Washington Post, "Police: $23 million lost due to ongoing Portland protests," 9 July 2020 But as the percentage of nonwhite voters in a precinct increased, so did wait times – from 5 minutes in districts that were 90% white or more, to 32 minutes in districts that were 90% nonwhite or more. Jonathan Coopersmith, The Conversation, "It takes a long time to vote," 7 July 2020 Protests over the killing broke out in Phoenix on Sunday night, with dozens of demonstrators marching to the Maryvale Estrella Mountain police precinct., "Phoenix police kill man in parked car, igniting new protests," 6 July 2020 Ernst's bill is primarily a response to the Seattle autonomous zone formed in early June after police abandoned a local precinct following nights of protests. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Protest updates: Activists say they won't leave Seattle's CHOP; Stalemate at Emancipation Memorial; House approves chokehold ban," 26 June 2020 Though a deadline is not clear, Durkan said Monday that officers will be returning to the precinct to respond to more than 100,000 emergency calls. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Seattle mayor announces city will reclaim police-free autonomous zone taken over by demonstrators," 23 June 2020 Later that afternoon, a couple dozen people marched up to the precinct with U.S. flags held aloft. Gregory Scruggs, Anchorage Daily News, "This Seattle protest zone is police-free. So volunteers are stepping up to provide security.," 18 June 2020 Other protesters attempted to escort officers to the precinct, to the dismay of their fellow demonstrators. Fox News, "Black Lives Matter protesters say Seattle’s autonomous zone has hijacked message," 12 June 2020 The autonomous zone formed after police in Seattle abandoned a precinct and allowed protesters to take over the building and the surrounding area. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Trump hits Seattle mayor for allowing 'takeover' by 'terrorists'," 12 June 2020

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

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Precinct.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce precinct (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on precinct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for precinct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with precinct

Spanish Central: Translation of precinct

Nglish: Translation of precinct for Spanish Speakers

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