Definition of periphery in English:


Syllabification: pe·riph·er·y
Pronunciation: /pəˈrifərē

noun (plural peripheries)

  • 1The outer limits or edge of an area or object: new buildings on the periphery of the hospital site
    More example sentences
    • One morning, a village on the periphery of a city wakes up to find itself bifurcated by the construction of a National Highway.
    • On the periphery of the print, I can see the living room décor as it used to be.
    • On the periphery of my hearing, I caught a high pitched keening sound - the sonic pulse.
    edge, outer edge, margin, fringe, boundary, border, perimeter, rim, verge, borderline; outskirts, outer limits/reaches, bounds
    literary bourn, marge
  • 1.1A marginal or secondary position in, or part or aspect of, a group, subject, or sphere of activity: a shift in power from the center to the periphery
    More example sentences
    • On the positive side it has assisted in moving issues about ageing from the periphery to the centre of political debate.
    • In order to arrive at new prisms of analysis, we need to further de-center the West itself and look at what once were considered peripheries as centers in their own right, with their own capacity for creating history.
    • In sum, the prefect was the indispensable link between the centre and the periphery.


late 16th century (denoting a line that forms the boundary of something): via late Latin from Greek periphereia 'circumference', from peripherēs 'revolving around', from peri- 'around' + pherein 'to bear'.

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