proximity

noun
prox·​im·​i·​ty | \ präk-ˈsi-mə-tē How to pronounce proximity (audio) \

Definition of proximity

: the quality or state of being proximate : closeness

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The history of "proximity" hinges on the idea of closeness, both physical and metaphorical. English speakers borrowed the word from Middle French, which in turn acquired it from Latin proximitat-, proximitas, forms of the adjective proximus, meaning "nearest" or "next." A number of other languages, including Catalan, Portuguese, and Italian, derived similar words from Latin proximus. Other descendants of "proximus" in English include "proximal," "proximate," and the somewhat more rare "approximal" (meaning "contiguous").

Examples of proximity in a Sentence

the proximity of the curtains to the fireplace was a cause of concern for the safety inspector

Recent Examples on the Web

The Washington Post’s Balz broke up the suburbs broadly into subcategories, based on their proximity to their urban center, and figured out how well Republicans did in each category. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The suburbs abandoned Republicans in 2018, and they might not be coming back.," 26 Dec. 2018 The new governor, a former bureaucrat known for his proximity to the Modi government, may allow politicians to fund pre-election spending by raiding the bank’s rupee reserves. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Modi’s Party Crashes to Defeat, Casting Doubt on His Re-Election," 13 Dec. 2018 The fact that there are more successful Target locations near these that are closing, along with their close proximity to competitors like Walmart, definitely contributed to the company’s decision to close those locations. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "Your Local Target Could Be One Of The Locations Closing By February 2019," 31 Oct. 2018 Camille Hymes, Starbucks’ regional vice president for the mid-Atlantic, said the company chose D.C. for its proximity to Gallaudet and because of the city’s ties to activism for the deaf community. Rachel Siegel, The Seattle Times, "Starbucks opens first U.S. sign language store — with murals, tech pads and fingerspelling," 23 Oct. 2018 Fairey has chosen it for its proximity to the fluid (and at least partially mythical) border of two North Side neighborhoods, one known for being aggressively heteronormative in orientation, one not so much. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago-set 'Support Group for Men' a chance to laugh at our current #MeToo moment," 2 July 2018 This means a few unvaccinated people living in close proximity can be dangerous. Julia Belluz, Vox, "New York’s Orthodox Jewish community is battling measles outbreaks. Vaccine deniers are to blame.," 9 Nov. 2018 All of the above locations are in fairly close proximity to other Target locations that will gladly welcome you with open doors. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "Your Local Target Could Be One Of The Locations Closing By February 2019," 31 Oct. 2018 The tokens that generate one-time passwords can only be installed on a smartphone that has come into close physical proximity with the Helm device during pairing by someone who knows the device password. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Meet Helm, the startup taking on Gmail with a server that runs in your home," 17 Oct. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for proximity

Middle French proximité, from Latin proximitat-, proximitas, from proximus

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Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proximity

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

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More Definitions for proximity

proximity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of proximity

: the state of being near

proximity

noun
prox·​im·​i·​ty | \ präk-ˈsi-mə-tē How to pronounce proximity (audio) \

Legal Definition of proximity

: the quality or state of being proximate

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Comments on proximity

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of or relating to a parable or parabola

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