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 Authorities quickly imposed a lockdown on 11 residential compounds in the vicinity of the market, prohibiting anyone from entering or leaving. James Griffiths, CNN, "As coronavirus spikes in US, China locks down 400,000 people ... over 18 cases," 29 June 2020 The event was one of three rallies held Saturday in the vicinity of downtown San Antonio. Vincent T. Davis,, "Women Against Injustice," 27 June 2020 On Monday, a rocket struck in the vicinity of the airport without causing casualties. Washington Post, "Iraqi forces arrest men suspected of attacks targeting US," 26 June 2020 Look for game trails and fresh elk droppings, which look like chocolate malt balls, a sign the elk are in the vicinity. Tom Stienstra,, "Want to watch an elk calf being born? Grizzly Island offers rare sight," 26 June 2020 The plan calls for the golf-cart-sized VIPER to roll off of Astrobotic’s lander at a still-undetermined locale in the vicinity of the moon’s south pole in 2023. Leonard David, Scientific American, "NASA’s Hunt for Lunar Water Intensifies," 24 June 2020 Authorities imposed a lockdown on 11 residential compounds in the vicinity of the market, strictly prohibiting anyone from entering or leaving. Nectar Gan, CNN, "China's new coronavirus outbreak sees Beijing adopt 'wartime' measures as capital races to contain spread," 15 June 2020 The Pima County Sheriff's Department issued an evacuation notice for residents in the vicinity of East Golder Ranch Drive and East Collins Road. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Arizona wildfires: Magnum Fire near Grand Canyon, Bighorn Fire outside Tucson continue to grow," 14 June 2020 Despite their personal struggles, the two eventually manage to overcome their opponent, creating an electromagnetic wave that short-circuits every robot in the vicinity — including Coulson! Sousa is a fun addition to the ensemble. Christian Holub,, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap: The truth is out there," 11 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for vicinity

Time Traveler

The first known use of vicinity was in 1560

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Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vicinity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for vicinity


How to pronounce vicinity (audio)

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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