Close Proximity or In Close Proximity – Meaning & Definition

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

As a content creator and author, I’m always within close proximity to my laptop, and my phone’s usually in close proximity, too. See what I did there? I used the correct form of the phrase twice, showing that the preposition ‘in’ usually goes before the words ‘close’ and ‘proximity.’ But there are some exceptions, and I’ll break it all down for you.

Close Proximity Meaning

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The widely used phrase “close proximity” refers to something being close or near to someone or another thing. Basically, when two things are close or near one another, they’re in close proximity.

You’ll usually see it used to describe locations of certain places, like when someone’s giving directions or something. But you can also use it in a broader sense when you’re describing people, objects, or events that are near each other in terms of time or even their relationship. Stick with me because I’ll give you some sentence examples below.

Is Close Proximity a Tautology?

Yes, “close proximity” is considered a tautology or a redundant phrase. The words “close” and “proximity” technically mean the same thing, so using both of them together like that is totally unnecessary, although everyone does it.

The words can actually be used separately from one another to get the same point across. My phone is close to me, or my phone is in proximity to me. Make sense?

Tautologies are simple phrases that just repeat the same idea or concept in different words and are often seen as a poor writing habit because they add unnecessary ‘fluff’ words to a sentence.

Is It Close Proximity or In Close Proximity To?

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Neither is wrong, per se. It just matters how you use it. ‘In close proximity to’ is the full form of the phrase and is what you’ll find people using more often than anything else.

But you can use ‘close proximity’ with another article like ‘a.’ I can say, “my phone has a close proximity to me,” but I can’t say, “my phone has close proximity to me” because it doesn’t quite sound right.

What Can You Say Instead of Close Proximity?

  • Nearness
  • Proximity
  • Adjacency
  • Vicinity
  • Close quarters
  • Adjacent
  • Nigh

‘Close Proximity’ and ‘In Close Proximity’ Sentence Examples

  • Our two houses are in close proximity to each other, making it easy for our families to hang out.
  • There’s a close proximity between the office and the train station, so it’s convenient for employees to commute to work.
  • Both towns have a close proximity to each other, so we can easily drive to see each other on the weekends.
  • My dad’s restaurant is in close proximity to the hotel I’m staying at, so I can go visit him at work.
  • The park and the lake are in close proximity to each other, so we can just walk there.
  • I love that the museum and the library are in close proximity to each other because I just have to make one trip.
  • My daughter’s favorite playground has a close proximity to her school, so I don’t have to worry about her playing after school.

Irma will probably continue to be suppressed by the strong Atlantic high pressure beyond Wednesday, keeping the storm at major hurricane status and on a trajectory that places the storm in close proximity to Florida by next weekend. (The Washington Post)

Alternative Ways to Say ‘in Close Proximity’ in Sentences

  • The airport is close to my house, putting me right on the flight path.
  • We can’t let our two dogs close to one another, or they fight.
  • The criminal is in the vicinity of where we’re looking.
  • The proximity of all the amenities was the selling point for us. 

In the End

So, that’s it. Both ‘close proximity’ and ‘in close proximity’ are correct, and you can use either one as you like. Just keep in mind that ‘in close proximity to’ is more widely used, so it’s less likely to be seen as incorrect if you’re using it in your writing.