AskDefine | Define precinct

Dictionary Definition

precinct n : a district of a city or town marked out for administrative purposes

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ˈprisɪŋkt/
  • /"prisINkt/


  1. (especially in the plural) An enclosed space having defined limits, normally marked by walls
  2. A subdivision of a city under the jurisdiction of a specific group of police; the police station situated in that district
  3. A subdivision of a city or town for the purposes of voting and representation in city or town government. In cities, Precincts may be grouped into of wards


An enclosed space having defined limits, normally marked by walls
A subdivision of a city under the jurisdiction of a specific group of police
A subdivision of a city or town for the purposes of voting and representation in city or town government

Extensive Definition

For the law enforcement usage, see police station.
A precinct is a space enclosed by the walls or other boundaries of a particular place or building, or by an arbitrary and imaginary line drawn around it. The term has several different uses. It can, for example, refer to a division of a police department in a large city.


A precinct is generally the lowest-level minor civil division in the United States. Precincts usually do not have separate governmental authorities, but for purposes of conducting elections, a minor civil division such as a county or township is typically subdivided into precincts and each address is assigned to a specific precinct. Each precinct has a specific location where its residents go to vote. Sometimes several precincts will use the same polling station. A 2004 survey by the United States Election Assistance Commission reported an average precinct size in the United States of approximately 1,100 registered voters. Kansas had the smallest average precinct size with 437 voters per precinct, while the District of Columbia had the largest average size at 2,704 voters per precinct A precint can be in a abbey.:)
Political parties often designate individuals, known by various titles such as "precinct captain" or "Precinct Committee Officer," to help them keep track of how the voters in a precinct feel about candidates and issues, and to encourage people to vote.
Precinct data are not widely available, though they can often be obtained by request. The Canadian equivalent of a precinct is known as a poll.


In religion, precinct can refer to the ground (sometimes consecrated) immediately surrounding a religious house or place of worship (e.g. Ancient Rome).

Public housing

In Singapore, a precinct is a cluster of public housing blocks arranged as a single unit.


In parts of the United Kingdom, a shopping mall (or centre) may be also known as a precinct, which refers to an enclosed public space with shops or departments.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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