\ˈtau̇n \

Definition of town 

1a : a compactly settled area usually larger than a village but smaller than a city

b : a compactly settled area as distinguished from surrounding rural territory

c : a large densely populated urban area : city

d : an English village having a periodic fair or market

2 : a particular town or city under consideration the circus came to town

3 : the city or urban life as contrasted with the country

4a : the inhabitants of a city or town practically the whole town turned out for the parade

b : the townspeople of a college or university town as distinct from the academic community relations between town and gown

5 : a New England territorial and political unit usually containing under a single town government both rural areas and urban areas not having their own charter of incorporation also : a New England community governed by a town meeting

6 dialectal, England : a cluster or aggregation of houses recognized as a distinct place with a place-name : hamlet

7 : a group of prairie dog burrows

on the town

: in usually carefree pursuit of entertainment or amusement (such as city nightlife) especially as a relief from routine

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Other Words from town

town adjective

Examples of town in a Sentence

the town of Jackson, Florida The nearest shopping mall is two towns away. The town plans to increase property taxes. We're heading to town later on.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Aid workers reckon that the Nigerian government has posted no more than two civilian administrators to the town. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 Demonstrators have gathered daily in front of the court, while across town, the country’s Constitutional Tribunal—a panel of judges who rule on whether laws are constitutional—is also in disarray. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "Poland Steps Up Supreme Court Purge," 13 July 2018 Cincinnati made Kesha cry, but not in a mean way If you hadn't heard by now, Kesha and Macklemore came to town on Wednesday. Mallorie Sullivan,, "3 headlines: Cincinnati makes Kesha cry, Big Red Machine and lots of new food," 13 July 2018 Rod Thompson chose Tulsa and spent his final college years under Self when Self moved across town to coach the Golden Hurricane. Alex Schiffer, kansascity, "This prospect has a Mizzou connection, but his dad played for KU’s Bill Self," 12 July 2018 Each chapter follows a familiar pattern: you venture to a town, learn about something going on, and then head over to a dungeon to defeat the bad guy. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Octopath Traveler is a modern take on classic Final Fantasy on the Nintendo Switch," 12 July 2018 The Knights had wrapped the bronze warrior in duct tape from helmet to sandals to protect him from the slings and arrows and paint balloons of pranksters from across town. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "Can USC Survive Scandal and Shed Its Spoiled-Kid Reputation Once and For All?," 10 July 2018 But across town, at Penn’s Landing, reporter Juliana Feliciano Reyes says Philadelphia’s Latino community practiced another kind of resistance this weekend: celebrating their culture. Aubrey Nagle,, "Why Philly feels squeezed by U.S. economy, Philly Latinos face Trump's America | Morning Newsletter," 9 July 2018 He was blindsided in April in New York, and again later that month in Anaheim, where just across town the Dodgers had lost shortstop Corey Seager for the season. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles' Manny Machado, on final stop of pre-deadline tour of contenders, addresses possibility of a future in Philadephia," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'town.' 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 town

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6

History and Etymology for town

Middle English, from Old English tūn enclosure, village, town; akin to Old High German zūn enclosure, Old Irish dún fortress

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Learn More about town

Dictionary Entries near town

tow linen




town ball

town car

town centre

Statistics for town

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for town

The first known use of town was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for town



English Language Learners Definition of town

: a place where people live that is larger than a village but smaller than a city

: the people in a town

the town : the government of a town


\ˈtau̇n \

Kids Definition of town

1 : a thickly settled area that is usually larger than a village but smaller than a city

2 : the people of a town The whole town came out to watch the parade.

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Comments on town

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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