[too r; French toor]
  1. a city in and the capital of Indre-et-Loire, in W France, on the Loire River: Charles Martel defeated the Saracens near here a.d. 732.


  1. a traveling around from place to place.
  2. a long journey including the visiting of a number of places in sequence, especially with an organized group led by a guide.
  3. a brief trip through a place, as a building or a site, in order to view or inspect it: The visiting prime minister was given a tour of the chemical plant.
  4. a journey from town to town to fulfill engagements, as by a theatrical company or an entertainer: to go on tour; a European concert tour.
  5. a period of duty at one place or in one job.
verb (used without object)
  1. to travel from place to place.
  2. to travel from town to town fulfilling engagements.
verb (used with object)
  1. to travel through (a place).
  2. to send or take (a theatrical company, its production, etc.) from town to town.
  3. to guide (someone) on a tour: He toured us through the chateaus of the Loire Valley.

Origin of tour

1250–1300; Middle English (noun) < Middle French < Latin tornus < Greek tórnos tool for making a circle. See turn
Related formsmin·i·tour, nounun·toured, adjective

Synonyms for tour

2. trip, expedition. 6, 8. visit.


  1. a department in W central France. 2378 sq. mi. (6160 sq. km). Capital: Tours.


[too-ren; French too-ren]
  1. a former province in W France. Capital: Tours. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tours

Contemporary Examples of tours

Historical Examples of tours

British Dictionary definitions for tours


  1. a town in W central France, on the River Loire: nearby is the scene of the defeat of the Arabs in 732, which ended the advance of Islam in W Europe. Pop: 132 820 (1999)


  1. a department of W central France in the Centre region: contains many famous châteaux along the Loire. Capital: Tours. Pop: 563 062 (2003 est). Area: 6158 sq km (2402 sq miles)


  1. an extended journey, usually taken for pleasure, visiting places of interest along the route
  2. military a period of service, esp in one place of duty
  3. a short trip, as for inspection
  4. a trip made by a theatre company, orchestra, etc, to perform in several different placesa concert tour
  5. an overseas trip made by a cricket or rugby team, etc, to play in several places
  1. to make a tour of (a place)
  2. to perform (a show) or promote (a product) in several different places

Word Origin for tour

C14: from Old French: a turn, from Latin tornus a lathe, from Greek tornos; compare turn


  1. a former province of NW central France: at its height in the 16th century as an area of royal residences, esp along the Loire. Chief town: Tours
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 tours



early 14c., "a turn, a shift on duty," from Old French tour, tourn "a turn, trick, round, circuit, circumference," from torner, tourner "to turn," from Latin tornare "to polish, round off, fashion, turn on a lathe" (see turn (v.)). Sense of "a traveling around, journey" is first recorded 1640s. Tour de France is recorded from 1922. The Grand Tour, a journey through France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy formerly was the finishing touch in the education of a gentleman.



1746, from tour (n.). Related: Toured; touring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper