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  • Noun

periphery

puh-RIF-uh-ree

Context
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Let’s put all the bookshelves on the periphery or edges of the room and the couches in the center. That way, we can walk along the periphery or boundary of the room to browse for something to read. That way people standing at the periphery or surrounding outer space discussing what they are looking for will not disturb those who are reading quietly in the center.

Quiz: What is a periphery?

  • It is the outlying area or boundary of a place.
  • It is the focus of a place.
  • It is a border between one country and another.

Memory Hook
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Periphery Computer Peripherals Peripherals are the things that sit in the periphery of your computer.

Examples
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  • Dozens of other fans came by and hung at the periphery of the group, wondering if they would be asked in, and then they drifted away when it became obvious that Bird was paying them no mind. —Sports Illustrated
  • A good friend of Dionne Warwick, Isley claims that he was on the periphery of numerous sessions with Bacharach, lyricist Hal David and their best-known interpreter. —Rolling Stone
  • During these types of operations, a surgeon refers to the images displayed on computer monitors, but the monitors are typically placed on the periphery of the operating theater, away from the work at hand, or above the surgeon’s head. —Wired
  • The euro fell to a new low against the Swiss franc Wednesday after the latest round of nerve-wracking developments in the region’s laboring economic periphery. —CNN

Word Ingredients
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peri- around, near, about
phor a carrying
-y state or condition

A periphery of a building is the “state or condition of carrying around” that building. One’s peripheral vision describes the outer reaches of one’s eyesight, that is, what we see around the edges of our sight that is not our central gaze.

Word Theater
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Dexter They exist on the periphery.
Periphery

Word Constellation
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Periphery

Word Variants
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peripheral adj outer, external