Definition of precinct in English:



  • 1usually precinctsThe area within the walls or perceived boundaries of a particular building or place.

    ‘a former MP who still works in the precincts of the House’
    • ‘Within the sacred precincts were also included a stadium and a great theatre.’
    • ‘But not to be able to access a toilet within the precincts of one's home on a long term basis is hardship.’
    • ‘The family of six boys and a girl moved into the fine house within the hospital precincts, which went with the appointment, with its private entrance on Jail Lane, off Mulgrave Street.’
    • ‘Other monastic buildings within the precinct, which is 1000 m. long and 400 m. wide, include a watermill and guest houses.’
    • ‘Within the castle walls, within the precincts of the castle, that's looked after by the Metropolitan Police.’
    • ‘Within the Palace's precincts are formal gardens complete with magnificent water terraces, an Italian Garden and the Mermaid Fountain, all of which give the impression that you are in one of the grands chateaux of France or Italy.’
    • ‘If such arrests were to take place they would have to be done outside parliament as MPs cannot be arrested within the precincts of parliament without the permission of the Speaker.’
    • ‘At that temple you could find no dust or dirt anywhere in the sacred precincts.’
    • ‘Any suggestion of a major disturbance in the temple precincts would have drawn an immediate vigorous response.’
    • ‘Within the precincts are innumerable journalists and foreign diplomats, who have received special clearance, are professionally interested in the proceedings, but have no access to the temple itself.’
    • ‘And what is the Church's role in protecting those who are buried within their precincts?’
    • ‘On a few occasions, shooting by film units has been allowed, that too within the zoo precincts under the guidance of forest officials.’
    • ‘They also ensured their place in posterity, by placing statues of themselves within the temple precincts, as doyens of religion.’
    • ‘The old corporate office at the Ballard Pier will house the Mumbai zonal office, which is currently within the precincts of the Bombay Stock Exchange.’
    • ‘So how would you react if were provided with a chance to view these celestial phenomenon and heavenly bodies from within the precincts of your school, most of which would normally be invisible to the naked eye?’
    • ‘Later, with close family members, she drove to Windsor for the committal service and interment at St George's Chapel, within the Castle precincts.’
    • ‘The first sumo matches were a form of ritual dedicated to the gods with prayers for a bountiful harvest and were performed together with sacred dancing and dramas within the precincts of the shrines.’
    • ‘Above all the temple precincts should have been kept clean and properly maintained.’
    • ‘Everyone will have to leave the precincts of Parliament, to have a cigarette.’
    • ‘After the Westminster Abbey funeral the coffin will then travel by road to Windsor for a private committal service and interment at St George's Chapel, within the precincts of Windsor Castle, later that day.’
    bounds, boundaries, limits, confines
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    1. 1.1 An enclosed or clearly defined area of ground around a cathedral, church, or college.
      ‘the precincts of the abbey church’
      • ‘The Rector of Leeds started the races, which were held in the precincts of the parish church in Kirkgate.’
      • ‘The right place for " living history " re-enactments is a restored castle precinct.’
      • ‘This emphasis on Christian vocation beyond the precincts of the church itself and beyond the bounds of the Lutheran Communion has inspired liturgical creativity in many places.’
      • ‘The car park was an historic castle precinct.’
      • ‘I'm starting to feel I'd like the whole thing kept IN the precincts of my church and OUT of the public sphere.’
      • ‘In the second phase, which has not even been costed yet, an attempt would be make to make the art gallery, city library and King's Manor more a part of the St Mary's Abbey precinct.’
      • ‘The four knights proceeded into the walled cathedral precinct.’
      • ‘The provision of a model would give a better idea of the size and layout of the abbey and its precinct.’
      • ‘There, entering the temple precincts, was a poverty-stricken couple with a baby almost six weeks old!’
      • ‘The Castle car park could be restored as a historic castle precinct and give us a public green space.’
      • ‘His position with respect to provisional ballots cast outside of the voter's precinct was upheld last week by a federal court of appeals.’
      • ‘It has invaded the precincts of both liturgical churches and free churches.’
      • ‘A more despicable picture comes to view as one enters the precinct of the shrine.’
      • ‘Chaucer was buried in the Abbey only because the year before he had gone to live in a tenement in the Abbey's precincts, perhaps as a reward for loyal service as a courtier and civil servant.’
      • ‘At the centre of the city was a sacred precinct with numerous public buildings.’
      enclosure, close, quadrangle, court, courtyard
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  • 2British An area in a town designated for specific or restricted use, especially one which is closed to traffic.

    ‘a pedestrian precinct’
    • ‘One of the first downtown areas to be focused on is Newtown, the city's cultural precinct.’
    • ‘‘If it was in a shopping precinct then fine, but this is right in the middle of a residential area,’ he said.’
    • ‘They were both stopped by a security guard as they were trying to leave the shopping precinct.’
    • ‘Six shops in The Shires shopping precinct were damaged when floodwater spilled under glass doors.’
    • ‘Independent traders say building work at Corsham shopping precinct is killing off custom.’
    • ‘They will cover the shopping precinct and lighting in the area will also improve.’
    • ‘Traders are calling for an end to graffiti and vandalism plaguing a shopping precinct in Warminster.’
    • ‘There is also a possibility that the Jenkin's Lane area will be re-developed as a shopping precinct.’
    • ‘Arts and crafts have been crucial to the revival of Newtown as Johannesburg's cultural precinct.’
    • ‘"No plans were submitted which showed the bridging of the pedestrian precinct.’
    • ‘Traders also hope the re-vamp will see the precinct compete with Bolton town centre and shopping complexes in neighbouring towns.’
    • ‘It starts in the middle of a shopping precinct which is not exactly inspirational.’
    • ‘It features a shopping precinct and warmer rain.’
    • ‘Instead, my quest ended in the middle of a shopping precinct.’
    • ‘"We scoured the shopping precinct for her thinking she had just gone into another shop, but she had just disappeared.’
    • ‘"Unfortunately shopping precincts are a target for vandalism throughout the country.’
    • ‘Detectives were last night reviewing CCTV footage from cameras in the shopping precinct, in the hope that the killer and his accomplice have been captured on tape.’
    • ‘The Council should be commended for starting the ball rolling on Bingley's regeneration and urged to pressure the new owners of the shopping precinct for speedy action.’
    • ‘The scheme will make up one of the largest pedestrian precincts in the city.’
    • ‘My shopping precinct has no less than FOUR bakeries.’
    area, zone, sector, district, section, quarter, region
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  • 3North American A district of a city or town as defined for policing purposes.

    • ‘Assigning police to work outside their precinct served both to insulate them from improper local influences, and to spread the work throughout the department.’
    • ‘Last I heard Steve was running for a local precinct captain position in the August ballot.’
    • ‘The most popular solutions included increasing police presence in the precinct, upgrading lighting and installation of surveillance cameras.’
    • ‘Data collection took place in nine police precincts in Baltimore City between January and August 1995.’
    • ‘The precinct captain, when he rose to speak, was sure he had the goods.’
    • ‘It is difficult to imagine how such small numbers, even when concentrated in particular police precincts, could yield the necessary political clout to force more sensitive policing.’
    • ‘He wrote yesterday from a police precinct house in New Orleans.’
    • ‘Apart from people going to court or the police headquarters, the precinct is also used as a walkway from the market area to the rest of the city centre.’
    • ‘The result is that the two Times Square precincts that were the city's most violent thirty years ago are now safer than many suburbs.’
    • ‘The crime rate in the Central Park police precinct is the lowest in all of New York City.’
    • ‘Again, the battalion took great care to distribute assets equally among the police precincts.’
    • ‘The articles quoted statements from the chiefs of two police precincts, who requested anonymity.’
    • ‘Dusk fades on the main drag of one of the city's toughest precincts and the cops on duty expect to be busy.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, in the entire city of Brooklyn, according to the New York Police Department, including the precincts not covered by the gun court, the numbers stayed nearly constant for the year.’
    • ‘He said the department handled 1200 tasks per month and could not permanently dedicate officers to policing the precinct.’
    • ‘Not that the police, at least those in the surrounding precincts, knew of the young victims' crimes, if not a criminal record.’
    • ‘The police precinct captains could then dispatch patrols, communicate between stations, and control vehicles.’
    1. 3.1 The police station situated in a precinct.
      ‘at the precinct a desk sergeant ran through her ID’
      • ‘She sounded distressed, and he could almost hear her voice broke slightly as she gave him the address of a police precinct in New York City.’
      • ‘Grandpa went to the police precinct and came back with handcuffs.’
      • ‘Talk to the police precinct and get crime statistics.’
      • ‘During the mapping period, East Harlem had only two bars, and one is located on the corner of a block where a police precinct is located.’
      • ‘For one thing, police precincts were only able to send simple text messages to officers in the field.’
      • ‘The crook was handcuffed and taken down to the police precinct.’
      • ‘After his call had come in, another precinct, closer to his position, had dispatched officers to help him.’
      • ‘The British anatomist Sir Francis Galton pioneered fingerprinting for criminal identification, but records clerks implemented his techniques in police precincts.’
      • ‘But just how effective can it be, when it angers commuters and packs police precincts with arrested activists?’
      • ‘Several times a week, police from each of the city's 76 precincts hook up with elite counter-terror units.’
      • ‘No, for my troubles I received a free three-hour stay in a police precinct and a desk appearance ticket.’
      • ‘She didn't think she could tell them that their little med school student daughter had spent the night at the police precinct.’
      • ‘Police precincts were keeping crime and arrest information from each other for fear of giving a rival commander an advantage.’
      • ‘Discipline and training replace education for all but the privileged as schools increasingly take on an uncanny resemblance to oversized police precincts.’
      • ‘Police from the local precinct responded, cordoned off the area, and investigated the incident.’
      • ‘Several were taken to a police precinct and left there overnight.’
      • ‘At police precincts in the city, the names of the 23 officers killed were read aloud.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, a lot of police precincts, what they do is tend to focus on a primary suspect and then disregard any evidence to the contrary.’
      • ‘You can't walk into a police precinct with intimate knowledge about these murders and claim a 200 year-old Puritan is responsible.’
      • ‘Reports have surfaced of celebrations in New York City police precincts immediately after the verdict was announced.’
      police station, station
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    2. 3.2 An electoral district of a city or town served by a single polling station.
      ‘with 35 per cent of the precincts declaring, he had 51 per cent of the vote’
      • ‘Absentee ballots will be delivered after the polls close to each precinct.’
      • ‘Secondly, exit polling needs to be banned from the premises of polling precincts due to their potential for misleading information and incorrect projections on the various networks.’
      • ‘Again, although there are few precincts reporting this, I have a hunch.’
      • ‘But any candidate who does not reach 15 percent in a given precinct is deemed ‘not viable,’ and his supporters will then pick another.’
      • ‘A candidate who doesn't muster the support of 15 percent in a precinct is not considered viable, and that candidate's supporters are allowed to make a second choice.’
      • ‘The election chiefs also propose to do away with voting precincts.’
      • ‘The message communicated from my campaign is being shared the old-fashioned way, by walking precincts.’
      • ‘If a state has two polling time closings, we're going to wait until the very last precinct closes before we even breathe a word about what we've got.’
      • ‘Democratic officials also reported stronger support in Democratic precincts in Michigan and Pennsylvania.’
      • ‘About half of 1,500 blank ballots in one precinct, at a church, got wet and nobody knows how.’
      • ‘So that's part of the reason that Georgia has become the first and only state in the United States to have touch-screen voting in every single precinct, in every single county in the state.’
      • ‘Bipartisan negotiations to reorganize electoral precincts for the general elections in April next year are going to kick off within this week.’
      • ‘The Green Party was unavailable to verify the number of delegates at its precinct caucus.’
      • ‘With 14 per cent of precincts reporting, 56 per cent of voters wanted him out while 44 favoured his staying in office.’
      • ‘In some Democratic precincts 25 percent of voters reportedly did not vote for president.’
      • ‘He also said a two-vote electoral system should also be adopted and that electoral precincts should be rezoned into smaller ones.’
      • ‘The central vote-counter was not programmed to expect more than 32,000 votes in any single precinct.’
      • ‘The sample should be at least 300 qualified responses taken from a cross-section of 20 voting precincts.’
      • ‘A disproportionately high percentage of ballots later discarded for one reason or another were cast by minorities, as high as 31 percent in some precincts.’
      • ‘At the elementary school, converted into a polling station serving two precincts for the day, it was taking voters an average of one hour to vote.’


Late Middle English (denoting an administrative district): from medieval Latin praecinctum, neuter past participle (used as a noun) of praecingere ‘encircle’, from prae ‘before’ + cingere ‘gird’.