- a village or hamlet in which a periodic market or fair is held.
- any village or hamlet.
- to be successful.
- to do well, efficiently, or speedily: The engineers really went to town on those plans.
- to lose restraint or inhibition; overindulge.
- Informal.in quest of entertainment in a city's nightclubs, bars, etc.; out to have a good time: a bunch of college kids out on the town.
- supported by the public charity of the state or community; on relief.
Origin of town
- a densely populated urban area, typically smaller than a city and larger than a village, having some local powers of government and a fixed boundary
- (as modifier)town life Related adjective: urban
- to make a supreme or unrestricted effort; go all out
- Australian and NZ informalto lose one's temper
Word Origin for town
Old English tun "enclosure, garden, field, yard; farm, manor; homestead, dwelling house, mansion;" later "group of houses, village, farm," from Proto-Germanic *tunaz, *tunan (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old Frisian tun "fence, hedge," Middle Dutch tuun "fence," Dutch tuin "garden," Old High German zun, German Zaun "fence, hedge"), an early borrowing from Celtic *dunom (cf. Old Irish dun, Welsh din "fortress, fortified place, camp," dinas "city;" see down (n.2)).
Meaning "inhabited place larger than a village" (mid-12c.) arose after the Norman conquest, to correspond to French ville. The modern word is partially a generic term, applicable to cities of great size as well as places intermediate between a city and a village; such use is unusual, the only parallel is perhaps Latin oppidium, which occasionally was applied to Rome or Athens (each of which was more properly an urbs).
First record of town hall is from late 15c. Townie "townsman, one raised in a town" is recorded from 1827, often opposed to the university students or circus workers who were just passing through. Town ball, version of baseball, is recorded from 1852. Town car (1907) originally was a motor car with an enclosed passenger compartment and open driver's seat. On the town "living the high life" is from 1712. Go to town "do (something) energetically" is first recorded 1933. Man about town "one constantly seen at public and private functions" is attested from 1734.
on the town
Also, out on the town. In spirited pursuit of entertainment offered by a town or city, as in We went out on the town last night. [Early 1700s]
In addition to the idiom beginning with town
- town and gown
- all over the place (town)
- ghost town
- go to town
- man about town
- one-horse town
- only game in town
- on the town
- out of town
- paint the town red
- talk of the town