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precinct

[pree-singkt] /ˈpri sɪŋkt/
noun
1.
a district, as of a city, marked out for governmental or administrative purposes, or for police protection.
2.
Also called precinct house. the police station in such a district.
3.
Also called election district. one of a fixed number of districts, each containing one polling place, into which a city, town, etc., is divided for voting purposes.
4.
a space or place of definite or understood limits.
5.
Often, precincts. an enclosing boundary or limit.
6.
precincts, the parts or regions immediately surrounding a place; environs:
the precincts of a town.
7.
Chiefly British. the ground immediately surrounding a church, temple, or the like.
8.
a walled or otherwise bounded or limited space within which a building or place is situated.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin praecinctum, noun use of neuter of Latin praecinctus, past participle of praecingere to gird about, surround, equivalent to prae- pre- + cing- (stem of cingere to surround; cf. cinch1) + -tus past participle suffix
Synonyms
1. ward. 4. territory. 8. compound.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for precinct-house

precinct

/ˈpriːsɪŋkt/
noun
1.
  1. an enclosed area or building marked by a fixed boundary such as a wall
  2. such a boundary
2.
an area in a town, often closed to traffic, that is designed or reserved for a particular purpose: a shopping precinct, pedestrian precinct
3.
(US)
  1. a district of a city for administrative or police purposes
  2. the police responsible for such a district
4.
(US) a polling or electoral district
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin praecinctum (something) surrounded, from Latin praecingere to gird around, from prae before, around + cingere to gird
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for precinct-house

precinct

n.

c.1400, prasaynt (mid-15c. as precincte), "district defined for purposes of government or representation," from Medieval Latin precinctum "enclosure, boundary line," noun use of neuter past participle of Latin praecingere "to gird about, surround," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + cingere "to surround, encircle" (see cinch (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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