Meaning of TOWN in English

ˈtau̇n noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English town, toun, from Old English tūn enclosure, manor, village, town; akin to Old High German zūn enclosure, fence, Old Norse tūn hedge, enclosure, Old Irish dūn fortress


a. : the usually enclosed estate of a feudal lord including the chief dwelling (as a castle) and the community living in villenage around it : manor 2

b. Scotland : a farmhouse with its accompanying land and buildings : farmstead

2. dialect England : a cluster or aggregation of houses recognized as a distinct place : a settlement with a place-name : village , hamlet

3. : a place that is a population and business center and is so recognized geographically and politically: as

a. : a compactly settled area of any size as distinguished from surrounding rural territory

b. : a compactly settled area usually larger than a village but smaller than a city in population and usually incorporated and given definite boundaries and powers by law : a small municipality

c. : a large densely populated urban area ; specifically : city

d. : an English village without urban characteristics or the status of an episcopal see but having a periodic fair or market : market town

e. : an incorporated municipal unit in a Canadian province or an Australian state varying in population but usually smaller than a city


a. : the particular town or city under consideration — usually used without an article

walked to the outskirts of town

new arrivals in town

was out of town all last week

when the circus comes to town

left town in a hurry

b. : the capital city of a country (as London, England)

aristocracy from every shire flocking to town for the coronation

c. : the neighboring large city : metropolis

commute daily to town

have an apartment in town

d. : the business center of a city : downtown

parked on a residential street and walked the few blocks into town

a physician with an office at home and another in town

e. : a section or district of a city characterized in some specified way (as by location, age, or inhabitants)

the upper town

the old town

the French town

5. : the city as contrasted with the country : urban life — usually used with the

God made the country, and man made the town — William Cowper

a poet not of nature but of the town


a. : the citizens or inhabitants of a city or town : public

went to a number of plays that were drawing the town — W.S.Maugham

b. : the qualified voters of a town : electorate , citizenry

the town elects two representatives

c. : the governing officials of a town acting on behalf of the town as a corporation or of the whole body of inhabitants

d. : the townspeople of a college or university town that constitute a group distinct from and often antithetical to the academic community

the usual battle between Town and Gown was developing, with clubs and quarterstaves as the weapons — T.B.Costain

— compare gown 2b

e. archaic : the fashionable society of a city

this vast universal Fool, the Town — John Dryden

7. : a territorial area having the status of a unit of local government: as

a. : one of a number of territorial units into which the area of a New England state is divided usually containing both rural and unincorporated urban areas under a single town government but sometimes containing or coterminous with an incorporated city or borough — called also township

b. : a territorial unit in a state (as New York) outside New England that usually contains not only rural and unincorporated urban areas but also one or more incorporated villages or other municipal units

c. : township 4b

8. : a unit of local government found chiefly in the New England states constituting a municipal corporation or under broad grants from the state legislature exercising most of the powers of a municipal corporation and having a governmental structure in which the legislative power is exercised by the town meeting and administration is entrusted to a board of selectmen and other officials

9. : something felt to resemble a town: as

a. : a collection of burrows of the prairie dog

b. : an aggregation of nests of penguins

- on the town

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.