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 Anyone who witnessed the shooting or a road-rage incident in the vicinity is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 561-688-3400. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Road rage eyed as motive in deadly shooting off Florida’s Turnpike," 23 Sep. 2020 Not so good, even at one of the casinos in the vicinity. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Raiders open new Las Vegas stadium with statement win over Saints," 22 Sep. 2020 Access is still allowed to Rabbi Nachman’s grave, for those in the vicinity. Maria Varenikova, New York Times, "On Ukraine’s Border, the Coronavirus Ends a Hasidic Pilgrimage," 18 Sep. 2020 Some of White’s UFC fighters also are standing in the vicinity. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s attorney general attends a Trump rally without a mask, and his challenger criticizes him for it," 15 Sep. 2020 Washington County has significantly stepped up patrols in the vicinity of the Powerline fire out of concern that thieves could break into empty homes. Jeff Manning, oregonlive, "Firefighters gain upper hand in Washington County," 11 Sep. 2020 Lefebvre discovered a second paddle wheel in the vicinity of the first on a second trip. Allen Kim, CNN, "201-year-old steamship paddle wheels found in Lake Champlain belonging to one of the oldest wrecks of its kind in the US," 9 Sep. 2020 Federal prosecutors allege that Brennen Sermon of Orlando was in the vicinity of a scuffle between Sen. Rand Paul and angry rioters who hurled insults at him and his wife, Kelley Ashby Paul. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Florida man charged with assaulting officer 'in vicinity of' Rand Paul," 2 Sep. 2020 Edmiston said 23 of the dove leases are within a short drive of Dallas-Fort Worth, seven near Houston and Beaumont, 28 in the San Antonio/Corpus Christi region and 36 in the vicinity of Austin and Waco. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "Dove hunting season preview: Hunters will go far afield in quest for popular game bird," 29 Aug. 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

7 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vicinity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 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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