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?

Howdy, neighbor! Today we cozy up to vicinity, a word with neighborly origins that was welcomed into English as a French import in the 16th century from Middle French vicinité. It comes ultimately from Latin vicus, meaning "row of houses" or "village," by way of Latin vicinus, meaning "neighboring." Other descendants of vicinus in English include vicinal (a synonym of local) and vicinage, a synonym of vicinity in the sense of "a neighboring or surrounding district." Both of these are formal and rare, but vicinage is notable for giving title to the Vicinage Clause, a segment of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution that entitles an accused person to "an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law."

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 At the theater, everyone in the vicinity seems to have known Radcliffe for at least a decade (his publicist and styling team), are nearing that milestone (his personal security), or — in the case of his show castmates — will land there soon enough. Kristen Tauer, WWD, 13 June 2024 On Tuesday, June 4, a fourth brush fire, the Mud Fire, was discovered in the median off SR 87 near mile marker 208 also roughly in the same vicinity. Daniel Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, 5 June 2024 But black holes also pull plenty of material into their vicinity, which is brilliant, allowing researchers to study the physics of these shadowy behemoths. Isaac Schultz / Gizmodo, Quartz, 23 May 2024 Lancaster County detectives and an officer from the Pennsylvania SPCA went to Stoltzfus’ property near New Holland, searched the vicinity and spoke with him, officials said. Mitchell Willetts, Miami Herald, 16 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for vicinity 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vicinity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 24 Jun. 2024.

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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