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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 History of King Lear":
      "[...]Here I disclaim my all my paternal care,/Propinquity, and property of blood[...]"
    • 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.