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

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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."

Example Sentences

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 However the type of missile which Ukrainian officials say hit their building was designed in Soviet times to destroy US aircraft carriers, so in the immediate vicinity of the blast there were no survivors. Tom Soufi Burridge, ABC News, 6 Feb. 2023 Still, all of the listings have enough activities—either on the property or in the immediate vicinity—to keep visitors busy for two, three, or four days. Laura Kiniry, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Dec. 2022 Over the past five years, while the Esprit renovation has been in the planning process, nearly 2,200 housing units have been added to the immediate vicinity, with another 4,000 planned. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Nov. 2022 Only one axis of the initial Russian advance, ending in the village of Tsyrkuny, remains in the immediate vicinity of the city, Ukrainian officials say. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 4 May 2022 The feral duo go cannibal on Eeyore before turning their murderous attention to any humans in the vicinity. Vulture, 17 Feb. 2023 The base is off limits to civilians, but soldiers in various uniforms were the main customers at several cafes, fast food joints and a convenience store in the vicinity. Valerie Hopkins Nanna Heitmann, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2023 This will create a humanitarian crisis, with cold weather and rain and snow falling in the vicinity of populated areas. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 6 Feb. 2023 Beck said there were other calls in the vicinity for break-ins and this shooting may be related to that activity. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 5 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

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 28 Mar. 2023.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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