noun, often attributive
dis·​trict | \ˈdis-(ˌ)trikt \

Definition of district 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a territorial division (as for administrative or electoral purposes)

b : the basic administrative unit for local government in Northern Ireland

2 : an area, region, or section with a distinguishing character a shopping district



Definition of district (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to divide or organize into districts

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Synonyms for district

Synonyms: Noun

neighborhood, quarter, section

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Examples of district in a Sentence


Six police officers are in charge of the district. She represents the eighth congressional district.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The law, passed by the Legislature earlier this year, requires teachers unions to maintain membership of at least 50 percent of a district’s teaching staff or the union risks disbandment. Lois K. Solomon, Sun-Sentinel.com, "State law that targets teachers unions appears to be increasing membership," 13 July 2018 Patrick will campaign on Sunday for Colin Allred, a Democrat who is challenging Representative Pete Sessions in a district that includes Dallas, according to a person familiar with Patrick’s plans. Annie Linskey, BostonGlobe.com, "Former Mass. governor Deval Patrick to lend hand to campaigns in Texas," 13 July 2018 Conor Lamb to a surprise victory in a deeply red Pennsylvania district that Democrats had believed was out of reach. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "More than 20 Democratic House candidates want Nancy Pelosi to step aside after 2018," 12 July 2018 The law, which went into effect last week, mandates that membership in teachers unions must be at least 50 percent of a district’s teaching staff or the union could be disbanded. Leslie Postal, OrlandoSentinel.com, "New teachers union rules spark debate — and more dues-paying members," 12 July 2018 Last spring, with the midterms on the horizon, Sawyer, a Democrat, decided to give politics a try, launching a campaign to unseat state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, in a purple district in the Houston area. David Yaffe-bellany, star-telegram, "As Trump backlash continues, STEM professionals in Texas run for office," 12 July 2018 Lamb, 34, then went out an won a special election in March to grab control of a district long controlled by Republicans. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Aftab Pureval says he won't back Nancy Pelosi for Speaker if elected to Congress," 11 July 2018 To help with funding, a tax incremental financing district is under consideration for the property. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Amazon has competition for Oak Creek parcel that could become fulfillment center in new business park," 10 July 2018 The Council also voted 8-3 in favor of a community improvement district which adds a 2 percent sales tax for up to 22 years on retail sales within the project. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Council OKs Edison OP, despite complaints about changing character of Overland Park," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

North Shore park districts with fewer beaches have lifeguards on duty for longer periods each day. Tessa Weinberg, chicagotribune.com, "A nighttime drowning in Lake Michigan - and no city lifeguards on duty prompts calls for change," 12 July 2018 The Seminole County school district earned an A, and the other Central Florida districts all got B’s. Leslie Postal, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Florida's schools earn more As and Bs and fewer Fs, state says," 27 June 2018 The council also approved the creation of a municipal utilities district around the development. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Housing-starved Houston builds anew in the flood plain," 22 May 2018 The 2-to-1 decision is a victory for Democrats in a years-long battle over the legislative lines, which were drawn after the 2010 census to give the 11 House of Delegates districts a voting population that was least 55 percent black. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, "Court strikes down Virginia House districts as racial gerrymandering," 26 June 2018 With that district probably out of reach in a November rematch, the Orange County districts become even more important for the Democrats. John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, "Is Orange County fertile ground for the left? California Dems are counting on it," 11 June 2018 Principal Erica Bowles, formerly principal of Longbranch Elementary, said there are plans to offer tours to district families before the first day of school. Melissa Reinert, Cincinnati.com, "New Boone County middle school Ballyshannon on schedule for August opening," 7 June 2018 Perhaps not coincidentally, Republicans are at this point winning a majority of the primary vote in the three competitive Orange County districts: the aforementioned 39th and 48th, and in Rep. Mimi Walters’s 45th. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "California Democrats Did Well, But Not Perfectly, in Primary," 6 June 2018 At least 70 have launched campaigns across the state for everything from the board of education to district judge to the U.S. House of Representatives. refinery29.com, "Black Women Are Running In Record Numbers — But Are They Getting The Support They Need?," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'district.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of district


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1792, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for district


French, from Medieval Latin districtus jurisdiction, district, from distringere to distrain — more at distrain

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Statistics for district

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for district

The first known use of district was in 1611

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More Definitions for district



English Language Learners Definition of district

: an area established by a government for official government business

: an area or section that has some special characteristic or purpose


dis·​trict | \ˈdi-ˌstrikt \

Kids Definition of district

1 : an area or section (as of a city or nation) set apart for some purpose our school district

2 : an area or region with some special feature the city's shopping district



Legal Definition of district 

: a territorial division (as of a nation, state, county, or city) for administrative, judicial, electoral, or other purposes: as

a : an administrative unit especially of a town or city established for the performance of a special governmental function the water district park district

b : congressional district

c : one of the divisions of the United States or of the individual states served by a particular federal or state court

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Comments on district

What made you want to look up district? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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