of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or belonging to a town: town laws; town government; town constable.

Nearby words

  1. towing path,
  2. towkay,
  3. towline,
  4. towmond,
  5. towmont,
  6. town and gown,
  7. town car,
  8. town clerk,
  9. town crier,
  10. town gas


Origin of town

before 900; Middle English toun, tun, Old English tūn walled or fenced place, courtyard, farmstead, village; cognate with Old Norse tūn homefield, German Zaun fence, Old Irish dún fort

Related formstown·less, adjectivein·ter·town, adjective

Synonym study

1. See community.




Ith·i·el [ith-ee-uh l] /ˈɪθ i əl/, 1784–1844, U.S. architect. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for town

British Dictionary definitions for town



  1. 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
  2. (as modifier)town life Related adjective: urban
a city, borough, or other urban area
(in the US) a territorial unit of local government that is smaller than a county; township
the nearest town or commercial district
London or the chief city of an area
the inhabitants of a town
the permanent residents of a university town as opposed to the university staff and studentsCompare gown (def. 3)
go to town
  1. to make a supreme or unrestricted effort; go all out
  2. Australian and NZ informalto lose one's temper
on the town seeking out entertainments and amusements
Derived Formstownish, adjectivetownless, adjective

Word Origin for town

Old English tūn village; related to Old Saxon, Old Norse tūn, Old High German zūn fence, Old Irish dūn

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 town


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with town


In addition to the idiom beginning with town

  • town and gown

also see:

  • 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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.