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

The vertical takeoff and landing nature of the F-35B also means the Marines can fly their jets off the lightning carrier, land them at primitive airstrips on shore, and disperse them in the vicinity of the enemy--something regular carriers can’t do. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy and Marines Are Deploying a 'Lightning Carrier' to the Pacific," 2 May 2019 On Friday, April 26, fans of the royals lost their minds when an ambulance was spotted somewhere in the vicinity of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's home, Frogmore Cottage. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Royals Fans Have a New Theory About the Sex of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Baby," 30 Apr. 2019 Fifteen minutes later, a wildfire was reported in that vicinity. Russell Gold, WSJ, "California’s Largest Utility Pummeled by Wildfire Risks," 14 Nov. 2018 Standing in the corral for 40 minutes, I am not permitted to leave to go to the bathroom, but I am permitted to look around my immediate vicinity. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "At Hypebeast’s new streetwear festival, even the toddlers are cool and rich," 8 Oct. 2018 Tacoma’s public schools district said three of its schools went into lock down on Tuesday morning after shots were fired in their vicinity. Ahmed Namatalla, The Seattle Times, "3 Tacoma schools under lock down after shots fired nearby," 2 Oct. 2018 In addition, those rescued reported that five ships had come into their vicinity before the Aquarius and did not offer help. Colleen Barry, Fox News, "EU seeks safe harbor for ship carrying 141 rescued migrants," 13 Aug. 2018 Additionally, it can only be used for weddings that take place within New York state, meaning the Biebwin nuptials would likely occur in the vicinity of New York City, sometime between Friday afternoon and midnight on November 13. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber Reportedly Went to the Marriage License Courthouse," 14 Sep. 2018 Unlike a rollover, however, a flashover happens everywhere at once; every molecule of atmosphere, every object in the vicinity, instantly turns to fire. Sean Flynn, Esquire, "The Perfect Fire," 9 Mar. 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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Last Updated

15 May 2019

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 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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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

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).


a strong desire or propensity

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