- præcinct (chiefly obsolete)
From Middle English precinct, precincte, early 15th century, in sense of “district for government purposes”, from Medieval Latin precinctum, alternative form of praecinctum (“enclosure, boundary line”), neuter singular of praecinctus, perfect passive participle of Latin praecingō (“surround, gird”), from prae (“before”) + cingō (“surround, encircle”), from which also cinch.
precinct (plural precincts)
- (chiefly in the plural) An enclosed space having defined limits, normally marked by walls.
- (chiefly in the plural) The general area surrounding a place, environs.
- (UK) A pedestrianized and uncovered shopping area.
- (US, law enforcement) A subdivision of a city under the jurisdiction of a specific group of police; the police station situated in that district.
- (US) A subdivision of a city or town for the purposes of voting and representation in city or town government. In cities, precincts may be grouped into wards.
- (archaic) A district over which someone or some body of people has control in general; province, sphere of control.
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
- But ſince I loue to liue at libertie,
As eaſily may you get the Souldans crowne,
As any prizes out of my precinct.
- (archaic) A surrounding boundary or limit.