vi·​cin·​i·​ty | \və-ˈsi-nə-tē \
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

Some 1,000 police officers cleared protesters from the vicinity of the Sabarimala temple in Kerala state on Wednesday, hours before the temple’s doors were to open to females ages 10 to 50, said police officer Manoj Abraham. Ashok Sharma, The Seattle Times, "Indian temple set to allow entry to females who menstruate," 17 Oct. 2018 The blast sent some people fleeing from the vicinity, while others appeared to duck for cover. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Firework hurled at North Carolina bar sends patrons scrambling, video shows," 3 Aug. 2018 Once deployed, stingrays intercept data from the target phone along with information from other phones within the vicinity—up to and including full calls and text messages. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Why does one California county sheriff have the highest rate of stingray use?," 24 Oct. 2018 Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings that may become violent. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "U.S. Warns London Visitors Ahead of Trump’s U.K. Visit," 11 July 2018 An infrasonic or ultrasonic weapon can cause hearing loss and physical pain by emitting a sound not audible to a human ear within the vicinity of the victim. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Canada Recalls Families of Diplomats in Cuba Following Mystery Illness," 17 Apr. 2018 The action to perform the inspection is driven from initial data from the ongoing investigation of the F-35B that crashed in the vicinity of Beaufort, South Carolina on 28 September. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire U.S. F-35 Fleet Is on Worldwide Stand Down," 11 Oct. 2018 This Twitter writer, though, argues that as long as Crew is in the vicinity of his mom’s tasty treats, all will be well. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Chip Gaines Gets Backlash for the Most Hilarious Reason on Latest Photo of Baby Crew's Car Seat," 14 Aug. 2018 Early Tuesday morning, a spokesperson for the postal system said details would be forthcoming about plans to continue a postal operation in that vicinity. Mary Shanklin,, "Orlando's Colonialtown post office sells, to close in 2020," 22 Aug. 2017

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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Statistics for vicinity

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \
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

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