vi·​cin·​i·​ty və-ˈsi-nə-tē How to pronounce vicinity (audio)
plural vicinities
: a surrounding area or district : neighborhood
: the quality or state of being near : proximity

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."

Example Sentences

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 While looking at phone records, authorities learned that Kohberger's cell phone was in the vicinity of the home where the murders took place on at least 12 occasions prior to Nov. 13, the affidavit alleges. People Staff, Peoplemag, 12 Jan. 2023 Investigators previously acquired data on every cellphone in the vicinity of the attacks, but Kohberger's phone was not among them. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2023 Westmoreland Park is in the vicinity of multiple bus stops, a 10-minute walk from the nearest DART station and at the end of the Five-Mile Creek trail. Dallas News, 11 Jan. 2023 The same applies to cars: The average vehicle in the US is now somewhere in the vicinity of 12 years. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 11 Jan. 2023 Technology that can detect the sound of gunfire also indicated shots in the vicinity of New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez's former campaign office. CBS News, 10 Jan. 2023 The deaths occurred in the vicinity of Highway 99, a major north-south route for the Central Valley, which was flooded by the storm. Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2023 Winds are minimal making highs in the vicinity of 60 degrees pleasant. David Streit, Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2023 Due to these conditions, a helicopter landed in the vicinity of the highway at 9:37 a.m., and Renner was taken to a Reno-area hospital at 9:56 a.m., Balaam said. Chloe Melas, CNN, 4 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of vicinity was in 1560


Dictionary Entries Near vicinity

Cite this Entry

“Vicinity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


vi·​cin·​i·​ty və-ˈsin-ət-ē How to pronounce vicinity (audio)
plural vicinities
: a surrounding area or district
in the vicinity of her home
: an approximate amount, extent, or degree : neighborhood
walks in the vicinity of 20 miles a week

More from Merriam-Webster on vicinity

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