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

While a number of separate specimens were identified in close proximity to one another, a single individual—the mighty C1—coated hundreds of tree root systems spanning more than 75 hectares. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "This Ancient Giant Fungus Could Help Scientists Understand Cancer," 4 Jan. 2019 China is an attractive to tech manufacturing because its workforce is cheaper and the plants that produce individual components are in close proximity to one another. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Trump renews call for Apple to make its products in the US," 8 Sep. 2018 Despite its proximity to Costa Rica, Panama has been slow to embrace environmental sustainability. Julia Eskins, Vogue, "Why Panama is the Place to Go in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 While still compact, low slung, and rectilinear with plenty of glass to go around, the Alice Ball House offers more privacy despite its proximity to the street. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "‘Livable version’ of Philip Johnson’s Glass House hits the market," 13 Sep. 2018 Fox also was frustrated by the restaurant’s lack of visibility, despite its proximity to the busy intersection of York Road and Ogden Avenue. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Fox's restaurant in Hinsdale closed; 'I tried so hard to make it work,' owner says," 12 July 2018 Since Markle is based in Windsor, outside London, there are other hospitals in closer proximity (and further from the spotlight). Vogue, "How Meghan Markle’s Birth Plan Will Differ from Kate Middleton’s," 17 Apr. 2019 The memo lists certain practical specifications, like square foot requirements, proximity to mass transit, and more. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "A Timeline of Amazon's "HQ2," From the First Announcement to a Failed Campus in New York City," 14 Feb. 2019 The proximity to South Africa, and Pretoria’s military ties to Israel made a South African-Israeli test a leading theory. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Sheep Glands Point to Nukes as Source of Mysterious 1979 Explosion," 12 Sep. 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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Statistics for proximity

Last Updated

25 May 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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