propinquity

noun
pro·​pin·​qui·​ty | \ prə-ˈpiŋ-kwə-tē How to pronounce propinquity (audio) \

Definition of propinquity

1 : nearness of blood : kinship
2 : nearness in place or time : proximity

Keep scrolling for more

Getting Closer to the Meaning of Propinquity

Propinquity and its cousin "proximity" are related through the Latin root prope, which means "near." That root gave rise to "proximus" (the parent of "proximity") and "propinquus" (an ancestor of "propinquity"). "Proximus" is the superlative of "prope" and thus means "nearest," whereas "propinquus" simply means "near" or "akin," but in English "propinquity" conveys a stronger sense of closeness than "proximity." (The latter usually suggests a sense of being in the vicinity of something.) The distinctions between the two words are subtle, however, and they are often used interchangeably. "Propinquity" is believed to be the older of the two words, first appearing in English in the 14th century; "proximity" followed a century later.

Examples of propinquity in a Sentence

local housing prices, thanks to the propinquity of an especially picturesque beach, are out of the reach of many would-be buyers
Recent Examples on the Web For such profound propinquity, move from the free-flowing oceans to the more structured world of soil, where potential self-sacrificers can nestle next to each other. The Economist, 20 Aug. 2020 Being a young creator of any kind is all about cheap rent and propinquity. Mary Kaye Schilling, New York Times, 17 Apr. 2017 Now, a small New Jersey township is bracing for its own looming propinquity to the president. Emily Jane Fox, The Hive, 19 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'propinquity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of propinquity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for propinquity

Middle English propinquite, from Latin propinquitat-, propinquitas kinship, proximity, from propinquus near, akin, from prope near — more at approach

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About propinquity

Time Traveler for propinquity

Time Traveler

The first known use of propinquity was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About propinquity

Dictionary Entries Near propinquity

propinque

propinquity

propinquous

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for propinquity

Cite this Entry

“Propinquity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propinquity. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!