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When should proxime and proximate be used? Can they be used both to mean spatial as well as temporal nearness? Are they being used differently in British and American English?

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I've never seen proxime in English, except in Latin tags. Proximate is used only in formal English, in both spatial and temporal senses, and usually in some technical sense: "proximate cause" in law, "proximate marker" in linguistics. – StoneyB Jan 15 '13 at 9:51
Also in biomed speak when talking about distal and proximate stuff, e.g., "proximate genotoxins, i. e. xenobiotics" and "a new tumor appearing < 2 cm proximate to the primary lesion". – user21497 Jan 15 '13 at 10:16
proximate: ~in the neighborhood proxime: immediate neighbor. Neither seems to have inherent spatial or temporal connotations that limit usage. – Kris Jan 15 '13 at 12:30
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Proxime is often defined only to have the sense of proximate that refers to the next or previous item in a series. If you want to be clear that you mean this sense, it may serve well.

It is however marked as obsolete in many dictionaries, so it may be best not to use it at all.

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To be clear of means to avoid. – jwpat7 Jan 15 '13 at 16:24
@jwpat7 thanks, that could be interpreted validly two different ways. I've edited to hopefully be clearer that I mean a reason to use it in the first sentence, though my reason for suggesting you don't in the second is stronger, IMO. – Jon Hanna Jan 15 '13 at 16:28

Like Stoney, I have never seen proxime in English. But, then, I wasn't around in 1820...

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Just for grins I checked out the citations of proxime in the 1809-10 period. All but 4 were in Latin passages; the four were in works on logic, contrasting proxime (in italics) with remote, and glossing it as immediate. Checking every fifth page in the 1945-2000 results yielded only Latin results. – StoneyB Jan 15 '13 at 20:58

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