1 of 2

noun (1)

coun·​ty ˈkau̇n-tē How to pronounce county (audio)
plural counties
: the domain of a count
: one of the territorial divisions of England and Wales and formerly also of Scotland and Northern Ireland constituting the chief units for administrative, judicial, and political purposes
: the people of a county
British : the gentry of a county
: the largest territorial division for local government within a state of the U.S.
: the largest local administrative unit in various countries
county adjective


2 of 2

noun (2)

plural counties

Examples of county in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Several public school districts in Jefferson's neighboring counties will also not have in-person instruction Tuesday. Leo Bertucci, The Courier-Journal, 12 June 2024 Its clients now come from 26 school districts in Butler, Hamilton and Warren counties. Sue Kiesewetter, The Enquirer, 12 June 2024 Over the course of four years, Marin County went from boasting the highest percentage of qualified seniors of any Bay Area county to placing fifth out of six for 2023 graduates, according to county-level data from the California Department of Education. Harriet Blair Rowan, The Mercury News, 12 June 2024 Pilot programs in just three counties under SB 803 wouldn’t seem to generate much additional stress on the state budget. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for county 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'county.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English counte, from Anglo-French cunté, counté, from Medieval Latin comitatus, from Late Latin, office of a count, from comit-, comes count — more at count

Noun (2)

modification of Middle French comte

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1539, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of county was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near county

Cite this Entry

“County.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural counties
: the area owned by a count
: a division of a state or of a country for local government


Middle English counte "division of the country for the purposes of government," from early French counté "region under control of a count," derived from Latin comes count — related to count entry 3

More from Merriam-Webster on county

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