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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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 Later, researchers discovered the two asteroids would happen to be in the vicinity of the spacecraft in 2033. William Harwood, CBS News, 16 Oct. 2021 Lebanese Forces supporters are now patrolling Christian neighborhoods in the vicinity of the clash, said a woman named Souad. Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2021 Their study also suggests that PAH cardiotoxicity was potentially a common injury among a range of species in the vicinity of oil spilled into ocean ecosystems. Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2021 Police say the shooting took place in the general vicinity of Third Avenue and Roosevelt Street, an intersection with relatively new luxury apartment complexes and university dormitory spaces located at Roosevelt Point apartments. Steven Hernandez, The Arizona Republic, 5 Oct. 2021 ESPN Plus will offer not only 75 NHL games exclusively, but become a hub for around 1100 out-of-market match-ups that fans who don’t live in the vicinity of a local team might not otherwise see. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 5 Oct. 2021 Their study also suggests that PAH cardiotoxicity was potentially a common form of injury among a broad range of species in the vicinity of oil spilled into productive ocean ecosystems. Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2021 Abdullah’s Nabisco Holdings company bought the house in 2014 for $33.5 million, according to public records, a sum described in online real estate coverage at the time as the highest price ever paid for a property in the vicinity of Point Dume. Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2021 Reaching the middle of nowhere, or at least its general vicinity, was a lengthy process, with my underpowered rental car straining every time the road went up (that is, all the time). New York Times, 4 Aug. 2021

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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The first known use of vicinity was in 1560

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vicinity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on vicinity

Nglish: Translation of vicinity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vicinity for Arabic Speakers


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