See also: Town

English Edit

Alternative forms Edit

Etymology Edit

From Middle English toun, from Old English tūn (enclosure, garden), from Proto-Germanic *tūną (fence) (compare West Frisian tún, Dutch tuin (garden), German Zaun, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian tun), from Gaulish dūnom (hill, hillfort), from Proto-Celtic *dūnom (compare archaic Welsh din (hill), Irish dún (fortress)), from Proto-Indo-European *dewh₂- (to finish, come full circle). Doublet of dun. See also -ton and tine (to enclose).

Pronunciation Edit

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /taʊn/, [tʰaʊ̯n]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊn

Noun Edit

English Wikipedia has an article on:

town (countable and uncountable, 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, historically enclosed by a fence or walls, with total populations ranging from several hundred to more than a hundred thousand (as of the early 21st century)
    This town is really dangerous because these youngsters have Beretta handguns.
    • 1920, Birmingham Archaeological Society, Transactions and Proceedings for the Year, page 142:
      Apparently the first reference to the making of the town walls of Stafford (it appears pretty clear that the town was never surrounded by one continuous wall or stockade, but partly by one and partly by the other) occurs in the Patent Rolls, from which we find that in 1225 permission was granted by the king to the "good men of Stafford” to collect customs or tolls for a period to enable them to enclose the town.
    • 2001, Thomas Brennan, “Town and country in France , 1550–1750”, in S. R. Epstein, editor, Town and Country in Europe, 1300-1800, page 250:
      Walls separated town and country through much of the early modern period. Walls not only protected towns, they also helped give them a sense of autonomy and identity.
    • 2011, Mikuláš Teich, Dušan Kováč, Martin D. Brown, Slovakia in History, page 42:
      Fortifications and town walls clearly highlight the central military significance of towns.
    • 2013 May 10, Audrey Garric, “Urban canopies let nature bloom”, in The Guardian Weekly[1], 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.
    • 2014, Norman John Greville Pounds, An Economic History of Medieval Europe, page 228:
      The medieval town, at least in continental Europe, was walled, and without its defences it was no town.
  2. Any more urbanized centre than the place of reference.
    I'll be in Yonkers, then I'm driving into town to see the Knicks at the Garden tonight.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      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. (UK, 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.
  6. A major city, especially one where the speaker is located.
    • 2014, Megan R. Wilson, quoting Scott Talbott, “15 places in DC where lobbyists talk turkey”, in The Hill[2]:
      There's always a business theme, even underlying happy hours. You're never off the clock in this town.
  7. (informal) A townhouse.
    • 2002, Garth Turner, The Little Book of Real Estate Wisdom, Toronto, O.N.: Key Porter Books, →ISBN, page 38:
      Detached houses always sell faster than towns or semis.
    • 2004 June 11, Derek Raymaker, “Suburbs add semi-detached to the mix”, in The Globe and Mail[3], Toronto, O.N.: The Woodbridge Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-05-26:
      It's not just market forces that are bringing out the semis and towns. Municipalities are requiring developers to build a mix of homes into their new planned communities, partly out of a concession to make more efficient use of virgin land, but also to address the need for more affordable housing for families who might not be able to crack a $300,000 mortgage.
  8. (law) A municipal organization, such as a corporation, defined by the laws of the entity of which it is a part.
  9. (obsolete) An enclosure which surrounded the mere homestead or dwelling of the lord of the manor; by extension, the whole of the land which constituted the domain.
  10. (UK, Scotland, dialect, obsolete) A farm or farmstead; also, a court or farmyard.
  11. (England, traditional, also Town, in phrases such as 'in town' or 'to town') London, especially central London.

Usage notes Edit

  • 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.

Hypernyms Edit

Derived terms Edit

Descendants Edit

  • Japanese: タウン (taun)
  • Jersey Dutch: tāun

Translations Edit

See also Edit

Anagrams Edit

Middle English Edit

Noun Edit


  1. Alternative form of toun