[dur-uh m, duhr-]
  1. a county in NE England. 940 sq. mi. (2435 sq. km).
  2. a city in this county.
  3. a city in N North Carolina.
  4. a town in SE New Hampshire.
  5. Animal Husbandry. Shorthorn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for durham


  1. a former administrative county of NE England; became a unitary authority in 2009; on the North Sea: rises to the N Pennines in the west: the geographical and ceremonial county includes the unitary authorities of Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees (both part of Cleveland until 1996) and Darlington (created in 1997). Administrative centre: Durham. Pop (of Durham unitary authority): 494 200 (2003 est). Area (of Durham unitary authoritiy): 2434 sq km (940 sq miles)Abbreviation: Dur.
  2. a city in NE England, administrative centre of Co Durham, on the River Wear: Norman cathedral; 11th-century castle (founded by William the Conqueror), now occupied by the University of Durham (1832). Pop: 42 939 (2001)
  3. a rare variety of shorthorn cattleSee shorthorn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for durham


c.1000, Dunholm "city on a hill," a merger of Old English dun "hill" (see down (n.2)) and Scandinavian holmr (see holm). The change from -n- to -r- is a result of Norman confusion (see Shrewsbury). As a breed of cattle, by 1810.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper