\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

In town for Dior’s Pre-Fall menswear show, the supermodel touched down at Narita International Airport in a cream duster coat and black jumpsuit accented with an oversize scarf. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Kate Moss Puts a Supermodel Spin on Airport Style," 29 Nov. 2018 Can the country, as a whole, do a better job of helping former factory towns bounce back? Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "When towns lose a factory, what comes next?," 29 Nov. 2018 Lee Standifer had been dating him, and the two were seen together around town the evening of May 20, 1981. Travis Loller, The Seattle Times, "Murder victim’s mother remembers ‘bubbly, happy character’," 28 Nov. 2018 Almost heaven Situated squarely in the coal mining region of Appalachian West Virginia, Fallout 76 does a good job of incorporating real-life towns and landmarks into the franchise’s deep lore. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "Two weeks in, Fallout 76 is a lonely, glitchy, flawed mess," 28 Nov. 2018 Seventy-four percent of white people live in predominantly white towns. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: ‘Dear America’ author Jose Antonio Vargas on Recode Decode," 24 Nov. 2018 Is anybody calling their representatives in this town? Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 6 Craziest Things That Happened On Riverdale Tonight," 25 Oct. 2018 Similar policies are also in place in towns in New Jersey, Illinois, and Mississippi, among other states. Megan Friedman, House Beautiful, "A Town in Virginia Has Set A Strict Age Limit For Trick-or-Treaters," 11 Oct. 2018 Lunch: Don’t leave town without trying a cheese pie from Michalis Pie Shop. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Your Getaway Guide to Skopelos Island, Where "Mamma Mia" Was Filmed," 9 Oct. 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

7 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on town

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with town

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for town

Spanish Central: Translation of town

Nglish: Translation of town for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of town for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about town

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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