- One who lives near or next to another.
- A person, place, or thing adjacent to or located near another.
- A fellow human.
- Used as a form of familiar address.
v., -bored, -borÂ·ing, -bors. v.tr.
To lie close to or border directly on. v.intr.
To live or be situated close by. adj.
Situated or living near another: a neighbor state.
[Middle English neighebor, from Old English nÄ“ahgebÅ«r : nÄ“ah, near + gebÅ«r, dweller.]
WORD HISTORY Loving one's neighbor as oneself would be much easier, or perhaps much more difficult, if the word neighbor had kept to its etymological meaning. The source of our word, the assumed West Germanic form *nÄhgabÅ«r, was a compound of the words *nÄ“hwiz, â€œnear,â€ and *bÅ«ram, â€œdweller, especially a farmer.â€ A neighbor, then, was a near dweller. NÄ“ahgebÅ«r, the Old English descendant of this West Germanic word, and its descendant in Middle English, neighebor, and our Modern English neighbor have all retained the literal notion, even though one can now have many neighbors whom one does not know, a situation that would have been highly unlikely in earlier times. The extension of this word to mean â€œfellowâ€ is probably attributable to the Christian concern with the treatment of one's fellow humans, as in the passage in Matthew 19:19 that urges love of one's neighbor.