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precinct

[pree-singkt]
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noun
  1. a district, as of a city, marked out for governmental or administrative purposes, or for police protection.
  2. Also called precinct house. the police station in such a district.
  3. Also called election district. one of a fixed number of districts, each containing one polling place, into which a city, town, etc., is divided for voting purposes.
  4. a space or place of definite or understood limits.
  5. Often precincts. an enclosing boundary or limit.
  6. precincts, the parts or regions immediately surrounding a place; environs: the precincts of a town.
  7. Chiefly British. the ground immediately surrounding a church, temple, or the like.
  8. a walled or otherwise bounded or limited space within which a building or place is situated.

Origin of precinct

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin praecinctum, noun use of neuter of Latin praecinctus, past participle of praecingere to gird about, surround, equivalent to prae- pre- + cing- (stem of cingere to surround; cf. cinch1) + -tus past participle suffix

Synonyms

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1. ward. 4. territory. 8. compound.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for precinct

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • On one of these nights the Captain of the Precinct was present in plain clothes.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • While they hold office, they shall dwell within the precinct of the God.

    Laws

    Plato

  • The temple, it is true, often stood within some sort of precinct, but it was accessible to all.

    Architecture

    Thomas Roger Smith

  • Hundreds of precinct meetings were held during the whole summer.

  • It was not a legal duty, for law had not yet penetrated into the precinct of the Family.

    Ancient Law

    Sir Henry James Sumner Maine


British Dictionary definitions for precinct

precinct

noun
    1. an enclosed area or building marked by a fixed boundary such as a wall
    2. such a boundary
  1. an area in a town, often closed to traffic, that is designed or reserved for a particular purposea shopping precinct; pedestrian precinct
  2. US
    1. a district of a city for administrative or police purposes
    2. the police responsible for such a district
  3. US a polling or electoral district

Word Origin

C15: from Medieval Latin praecinctum (something) surrounded, from Latin praecingere to gird around, from prae before, around + cingere to gird
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for precinct

n.

c.1400, prasaynt (mid-15c. as precincte), "district defined for purposes of government or representation," from Medieval Latin precinctum "enclosure, boundary line," noun use of neuter past participle of Latin praecingere "to gird about, surround," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + cingere "to surround, encircle" (see cinch (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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