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[ney-ber] /ˈneɪ bər/
a person who lives near another.
a person or thing that is near another.
one's fellow human being:
to be generous toward one's less fortunate neighbors.
a person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans:
to be a neighbor to someone in distress.
(used as a term of address, especially as a friendly greeting to a stranger):
Tell me, neighbor, which way to town?
situated or living near another:
one of our neighbor nations.
verb (used with object)
to live or be situated near to; adjoin; border on.
to place or bring near.
verb (used without object)
to live or be situated nearby.
to associate with or as if with one's neighbors; be neighborly or friendly (often followed by with).
Also, especially British, neighbour.
Origin of neighbor
before 900; Middle English; Old English neahgebūr, nēahbūr (nēah nigh + (ge)būr farmer; see Boer, boor); akin to Dutch nabuur, German Nachbar, Old Norse nābūi
Related forms
neighborless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for neighbour
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No one could doubt that he had helped a neighbour in great need, and had done it at some expense to his own nerve and brain.

  • "They haven't the strength to protect a fly," John whispered to his neighbour.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • Charles had little reason to be envious of the possession by his neighbour Lewis, of the country known as New France.

    The Great Company Beckles Willson
  • There was a neighbour of mine, a farmer, who had two sons whom he bred up to the business.

    Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2 Henry Fielding
  • No man may possess more learning, more wealth, or more prestige than his neighbour.

    The Religious Persecution in France 1900-1906 Jane Milliken Napier Brodhead
  • For, the power of the mother having waned, the power of the neighbour is waxing.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • Only one was moving at a time, and every one had the rope as taut as possible between himself and his neighbour.

British Dictionary definitions for neighbour


a person who lives near or next to another
  1. a person or thing near or next to another
  2. (as modifier): neighbour states
when intr, often foll by on. to be or live close (to a person or thing)
Derived Forms
neighbouring, (US) neighboring, adjective
neighbourless, (US) neighborless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English nēahbūr, from nēahnigh + būr, gebūr dweller; see boor
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
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Word Origin and History for neighbour

chiefly British English spelling of neighbor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or.



Old English neahgebur (West Saxon), nehebur (Anglian) "neighbor," from neah "near" (see nigh) + gebur "dweller," related to bur "dwelling" (see bower). Common Germanic compound (cf. Old Saxon nabur, Middle Dutch naghebuur, Dutch (na)bur, Old High German nahgibur, Middle High German nachgebur, German Nachbar). Good neighbor policy attested by 1937, but good neighbor with reference to U.S. policy toward Latin America was used by 1928 by Herbert Hoover.


1580s, from neighbor (n.). Related: Neighbored; neighboring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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