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

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, "Judge slams Tacoma for not releasing stingray records," 1 July 2018 There have been reports of at least three additional unsolved gunfire incidents in the vicinity of the park since last June, authorities say, with four additional shootings dating back to November 2016. Christine Pelisek,, "Area Where Dad Was Killed on Camping Trip Next to 2 Young Daughters Has History of Shootings," 29 June 2018 Much larger cities in the vicinity of Saransk with minority populations, such as Ufa (83 percent support for UR) and Izhevsk (61 percent), didn’t make the cut. Konstantin Ash, Washington Post, "Russia put World Cup stadiums in some surprising places. This is why.," 23 June 2018 Such records indicate where a cellphone establishes connections with a specific cell tower and give a fair representation of the vicinity of the user. Robert Barnes,, "Supreme Court rules that warrant is needed to access cell tower records," 22 June 2018 USA TODAY Sports The smoke that often looms in Jameis Winston’s vicinity returned this week. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Because of his past, Jameis Winston can’t afford more transgressions," 22 June 2018 Such records indicate where a cellphone establishes connections with a specific cell tower and give a fair representation of the vicinity of the user. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Supreme Court rules that a warrant is needed for government to access cell tower records," 22 June 2018 Many small lakes in the vicinity feature campsites, shore fishing and trailheads to hike into the neighboring Mokelumne Wilderness, such as the hike to Winnemucca Lake, now ice free, tucked at the foot of Round Top. Tom Stienstra,, "High Sierra paradise for free (and for sale)," 21 June 2018 After reaching the vicinity of Beijing, the plane switched its call sign to CA121 and proceeded to Pyongyang. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "Flying Sly: Secretive Kim Jong Un Makes It Hard to Roll Out the Red Carpet," 14 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to vicinity

in the vicinity of

Statistics for vicinity

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

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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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Comments on vicinity

What made you want to look up vicinity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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