Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Old French propinquité or Latin propinquitas, from propinquus ‘neighbouring’ (from prope ‘near’).



propinquity (countable and uncountable, plural propinquities)

  1. Nearness or proximity.
    • 1904, Edith Wharton, "The Other Two":
      Some experimental spirits could not resist the diversion of throwing Varick and his former wife together, and there were those who thought he found a zest in the propinquity.
    • 1964, Melvin M. Webber et al, "The Urban Place and the Non-Place Urban Realm" in Explorations into Urban Structure:
      Community without propinquity
    • 1973, Kyril Bonfiglioli, Don't Point That Thing at Me, Penguin 2001, p. 70:
      Surely, too, it would be a waste of an agent, for after several hours of propinquity I could scarcely fail to recognise him in the future.
    • 1985, Anthony Burgess, The Kingdom of the Wicked:
      There was also the question of Julius’s glandular responses to the almost daily propinquity of his Empress, so naked under her lawn.
    • 1993, Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations? (Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993), 29:
      Geographical propinquity gives rise to conflicting territorial claims from Bosnia to Mindanao.
  2. Affiliation or similarity.
    • 1608, William Shakespeare, The New Clarendon Shakespeare, King Lear, Oxford University Press: 1957, act I scene I: 112-115:
      "Here I disclaim my all my paternal care,
      Propinquity, and property of blood,
      And as a stranger to my heart and me
      Hold thee from this for ever. ..."
    • 1970, Michel Foucault, The Order of Things (English translation), Routledge 2002, p. xviii:
      What is impossible is not the propinquity of the things listed, but the very site on which their propinquity would be possible.
    • 1979, Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U.S. 85, 86 (1979):
      [A] person's mere propinquity to others independently suspected of criminal activity does not, without more, give rise to probable cause to search that person.
    • 1997, Don DeLillo, Underworld:
      Decent people out there. Russ wants to believe they are still assembled in some recognizable manner, the kindred unit at the radio, old lines and ties and propinquities.
    • 2012, Andrew Marr (heard at the Leveson inquiry.)
      Propinquity and corruption don't always go side by side.