vi·​cin·​i·​ty | \ və-ˈsi-nə-tē How to pronounce vicinity (audio) \
plural vicinities

Definition of vicinity

1 : a surrounding area or district : neighborhood
3 : the quality or state of being near : proximity

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Did You Know?

Vicinity has its origins in the idea of neighborliness - it was borrowed into English in the 16th century from Middle French vicinité, which in turn derives from the Latin adjective vicinus, meaning "neighboring." "Vicinus" itself can be traced back to the noun vicus, meaning "row of houses or "village," and ultimately all the way back to the same ancient word that gave Gothic, Old Church Slavic, and Greek words for "house." Other descendants of "vicinus" in English include "vicinal" ("local" or "of, relating to, or substituted in adjacent sites in a molecule") and "vicinage," a synonym of "vicinity" in the sense of "a neighboring or surrounding district."

Examples of vicinity in a Sentence

there are no hotels in the vicinity of the hospital the vicinity of the town's only elementary school was one reason why the young couple bought the house

Recent Examples on the Web

First protest petition Because more than 20% of the residents who live in the vicinity filed protest petitions with the village, the board would need a three-quarter majority vote to deny the request — that's seven of the nine trustees. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "348 people signed a petition to expand Germantown's Kinderberg Park. But a developer has other ideas for it.," 28 Aug. 2019 At first, with a vehicle spotted in the vicinity, it was thought that the cyclist might have been struck. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Cyclists fall, cooking fires burn and vehicles strike poles," 11 Aug. 2019 All the while, soldiers in the vicinity do nothing. Batya Ungar-sargon, The New York Review of Books, "A Palestinian in Israeli Military Court: Issa Amro, the Judge, & Me," 17 June 2019 Some 2000 persons gathered in the vicinity this afternoon, army and navy men and civil. ... Scott Harrison,, "From the Archives: 14-inch railroad guns fired near Oceanside," 11 June 2019 With just four small ranching communities and a population of 800 in the vicinity, humans have very little impact on the night sky in the area, making for a stunning spectacle. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Nevada Has a Massive New Dark Sky Sanctuary," 2 Aug. 2019 If someone hears the distinctive rattle of a rattlesnake, Ramirez says to freeze and identify where the noise is coming from, take several steps back, out of danger, make sure there is not another in the vicinity, and then give him a call. Scott Strazzante,, "Rattlesnake wrangler constantly on call to remove, relocate snakes," 28 July 2019 In the South Korean series, an app alerts people if someone in the vicinity likes them. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Netflix in August 2019: 'Rocky,' 'Now and Then' and 'Mindhunter' are in; 'Scarface' is out," 24 July 2019 While police were investigating this incident, a man approached a male pedestrian in the vicinity and took his phone from his pocket but threw it on the ground. Washington Post, "Alexandria and Arlington crime watch," 23 July 2019

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

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for vicinity

Middle French vicinité, from Latin vicinitat-, vicinitas, from vicinus neighboring, from vicus row of houses, village; akin to Goth weihs village, Old Church Slavonic vĭsĭ, Greek oikos, oikia house

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Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for vicinity

The first known use of vicinity was in 1560

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More Definitions for vicinity



English Language Learners Definition of vicinity

: the area around or near a particular place


vi·​cin·​i·​ty | \ və-ˈsi-nə-tē How to pronounce vicinity (audio) \
plural vicinities

Kids Definition of vicinity

1 : a surrounding area : neighborhood There is a school in the vicinity.
2 : the state of being close It cost in the vicinity of 500 dollars.

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More from Merriam-Webster on vicinity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vicinity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vicinity

Spanish Central: Translation of vicinity

Nglish: Translation of vicinity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vicinity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vicinity

What made you want to look up vicinity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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