[ pree-singkt ]
See synonyms for precinct on
  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.

  1. 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.

  2. a space or place of definite or understood limits.

  3. Often precincts. an enclosing boundary or limit.

  4. precincts, the parts or regions immediately surrounding a place; environs: the precincts of a town.

  5. Chiefly British. the ground immediately surrounding a church, temple, or the like.

  6. 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

Other words for precinct

Words Nearby precinct Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use precinct in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for precinct


/ (ˈpriːsɪŋkt) /

    • an enclosed area or building marked by a fixed boundary such as a wall

    • such a boundary

  1. an area in a town, often closed to traffic, that is designed or reserved for a particular purpose: a shopping precinct; pedestrian precinct

  1. US

    • a district of a city for administrative or police purposes

    • the police responsible for such a district

  2. US a polling or electoral district

Origin of precinct

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