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  • Noun




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: If you are at the periphery of a large forest, where are you?

  • You are at the border of it.
  • You are flying over it.
  • You are at the center of it.

Memory Hook

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


  • 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 [Larry] Bird was paying them no mind. —Sports Illustrated
  • 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
  • As we get older and our bodies enjoy less natural freedom of movement, we tend to take up less space, both physically and metaphorically. . . . Our vision narrows, slowly erasing the periphery, leaving only what’s in front of our nose. —Twyla Tharp, American choreographer, from _Keep It Moving_
  • Horrified by the disorder, disease and crime of the Edwardian industrial metropolis, he advocated the creation of "garden cities" on the suburban periphery. —The Washington Post

Word Ingredients

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

Dexter They exist on the periphery.

Word Constellation


Word Variants

peripheral adj outer, external