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Webster 1913 Edition


Town

Town

(toun)
,
Noun.
[OE.
toun
,
tun
, AS.
tun
inclosure, fence, village, town; akin to D.
tuin
a garden, G.
zaun
a hadge, fence, OHG.
zun
, Icel.
tun
an inclosure, homestead, house, Ir. & Gael.
dun
a fortress, W.
din
. Cf.
Down
,
adv.
& p
rep.
,
Dune
,
tine
to inclose.]
1.
Formerly:
(a)
An inclosure which surrounded the mere homestead or dwelling of the lord of the manor.
[Obs.]
(b)
The whole of the land which constituted the domain.
[Obs.]
(c)
A collection of houses inclosed by fences or walls.
[Obs.]
Palsgrave.
2.
Any number or collection of houses to which belongs a regular market, and which is not a city or the see of a bishop.
[Eng.]
Johnson.
3.
Any collection of houses larger than a village, and not incorporated as a city; also, loosely, any large, closely populated place, whether incorporated or not, in distinction from the country, or from rural communities.
God made the country, and man made the
town
.
Cowper.
4.
The body of inhabitants resident in a town;
as, the
town
voted to send two representatives to the legislature; the
town
voted to lay a tax for repairing the highways
.
5.
A township; the whole territory within certain limits, less than those of a country.
[U. S.]
6.
The court end of London; – commonly with the.
7.
The metropolis or its inhabitants;
as, in winter the gentleman lives in
town
; in summer, in the country
.
Always hankering after the diversions of the
town
.
Addison.
Stunned with his giddy larum half the
town
.
Pope.
☞ The same form of expressions is used in regard to other populous towns.
8.
A farm or farmstead; also, a court or farmyard.
[Prov. Eng. & Scot.]
Town is often used adjectively or in combination with other words; as, town clerk, or town-clerk; town-crier, or town crier; townhall, town-hall, or town hall; townhouse, town house, or town-house.
Syn. – Village; hamlet. See
Village
.
Town clerk
,
an office who keeps the records of a town, and enters its official proceedings. See
Clerk
.
Town cress
(Bot.)
,
the garden cress, or peppergrass.
Dr. Prior.
Town house
.
(a)
A house in town, in distinction from a house in the country.
(b)
See
Townhouse
.
Town meeting
,
a legal meeting of the inhabitants of a town entitled to vote, for the transaction of public bisiness.
[U. S.]
Town talk
,
the common talk of a place; the subject or topic of common conversation.

Webster 1828 Edition


Town

TOWN

, n.
1.
Originally, a walled or fortified place; a collection of houses inclosed with walls, hedges or pickets for safety. Rahab's house was on the town wall. Josh. 2.
A town that hath gates and bars. 1 Sam. 23.
2.
Any collection of houses, larger than a village. In this use the word is very indefinite, and a town may consist of twenty houses, or of twenty thousand.
3.
In England, any number of houses to which belongs a regular market, and which is not a city or the see of a bishop.
A town, in modern times, is generally without walls, which is the circumstance that usually distinguishes it from a city.
In the United States, the circumstance that distinguishes a town from a city, is generally that a city is incorporated with special privileges, and a town is not. But a city is often called a town.
4.
The inhabitants of a town. The town voted to send two representatives to the legislature, or they voted to lay a tax for repairing the highways.
5.
In popular usage, in America, a township; the whole territory within certain limits.
6.
In England,the court end of London.
7.
The inhabitants of the metropolis.
8.
The metropolis. The gentleman lives in town in winter; in summer he lives in the country. The same form of expression is used in regard to other populous towns.

Definition 2022


town

town

See also: -town

English

Noun

town (plural towns)

  1. A settlement; an area with residential districts, shops and amenities, and its own local government; especially one larger than a village and smaller than a city.
    This town is really dangerous because these youngsters have Beretta handguns.
    • 2013 May 10, Audrey Garric, The Guardian WeeklyUrban canopies let nature bloom], volume 188, number 22, page 30:
      As towns continue to grow, replanting vegetation has become a form of urban utopia and green roofs are spreading fast. Last year 1m square metres of plant-covered roofing was built in France, as much as in the US, and 10 times more than in Germany, the pioneer in this field. In Paris 22 hectares of roof have been planted, out of a potential total of 80 hectares.
  2. Any more urbanized center than the place of reference.
    I'll be in Yonkers, then I'm driving into town to see the Knicks at the Garden tonight.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      Judge Short had gone to town, and Farrar was off for a three days' cruise up the lake. I was bitterly regretting I had not gone with him when the distant notes of a coach horn reached my ear, and I descried a four-in-hand winding its way up the inn road from the direction of Mohair.
  3. (Britain, historical) A rural settlement in which a market was held at least once a week.
  4. The residents (as opposed to gown: the students, faculty, etc.) of a community which is the site of a university.
  5. (colloquial) Used to refer to a town or similar entity under discussion.
    Call me when you get to town.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
      I had occasion [] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return [] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting [] , and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town.
  6. (law) A municipal organization, such as a corporation, defined by the laws of the entity of which it is a part.
  7. (obsolete) An enclosure which surrounded the mere homestead or dwelling of the lord of the manor.
  8. (obsolete) The whole of the land which constituted the domain.
  9. (obsolete) A collection of houses enclosed by fences or walls.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Palsgrave to this entry?)
  10. (Britain, Scotland, dialect, obsolete) A farm or farmstead; also, a court or farmyard.

Usage notes

An urban city is typically larger than a rural town, which in turn is typically larger than a village. In rural areas, a town may be considered urban. In urban areas, a town can be considered suburban; a village in the suburbs. The distinctions are fluid and dependent on subjective perception.

Derived terms

  • Look at pages starting with town.

Translations

See also

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: show · terms · sort · #435: town · dark · ye · common

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