mid-15c., "neighborly conduct, mutual friendliness," from neighbor (n.) + -hood. Modern sense of "community of people who live close together" is recorded by 1620s. Phrase in the neighborhood of meaning "near, somewhere about" is by 1857, American English. The Old English word for "neighborhood" was neahdæl. Middle English had neighborship (early 14c.), "neighborliness; neighborly acts," later "state of being neighbors."