\ ˈtau̇n How to pronounce town (audio) \

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

Not a single birth was registered in nine of its towns last year. Fox News, "Italian region offers $770 a month to people to move there – but there's a catch," 11 Sep. 2019 When my dad died, family flooded into our small town. Abigail Van Buren, al, "Dear Abby: Readers share ideas for overabundance of food given to grieving families," 8 Sep. 2019 More interesting is the presence on the list of plenty of housing estates on the fringes of prosperous cities and large towns. The Economist, "A new index finds neglect in Britain’s banlieues," 5 Sep. 2019 When will innocent folk be free to walk through their cities and towns again, safe from the armed anger of others? Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Feeling helpless after shooting; Gun violence claims 9 in Chicago; Lockdown drills are too much; (9/5/19)," 5 Sep. 2019 In the first half of the year, more than 50 cities or towns were the victims of ransomware attacks this year, according to a recent report from Barracuda, a cybersecurity firm. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Ransomware attacks on the rise — and small towns are in the crosshairs," 4 Sep. 2019 But there are currently no companies that give tours in any of the state’s major cities and towns around works of literature. Washington Post, "‘London literary pub’ tour brings writers and writing home," 4 Sep. 2019 Since the Flint drinking water crisis erupted five years ago, Americans have realized that many cities and towns struggle to ensure safe water. Maura C. Allaire, The Conversation, "How to address America’s lead crisis and provide safe drinking water for all," 3 Sep. 2019 Roughly 3,000 to 4,000 protesters gathered near Downing Street in London and demonstrations were held in other cities and towns around the country. Amy Woodyatt And Zahid Mahmood, CNN, "UK minister refuses to rule out ignoring law preventing no-deal Brexit," 1 Sep. 2019

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

14 Sep 2019

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 government of a town


\ ˈtau̇n How to pronounce town (audio) \

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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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