town

town
town (n.) O.E. tun "enclosure, garden, field, yard; farm, manor; homestead, dwelling house, mansion;" later "group of houses, village, farm," from P.Gmc. *tunaz, *tunan (Cf. O.S., O.N., O.Fris. tun "fence, hedge," M.Du. tuun "fence," Du. tuin "garden," O.H.G. zun, Ger. Zaun "fence, hedge"), an early borrowing from Celtic *dunom (Cf. O.Ir. dun, Welsh din "fortress, fortified place, camp," dinas "city;" see DOWN (Cf. down) (n.2)).
Meaning "inhabited place larger than a village" (mid-12c.) arose after the Norman conquest, to correspond to Fr. 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 L. 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.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Town — Town, Towns, Towne y Townes pueden referirse a: El término inglés para ciudad (las formas towne y townes son arcaísmos), aunque puede referirse a cualquier otro rango de población, como villa, pueblo (en este caso, indicando el núcleo central en… …   Wikipedia Español

  • town — W1S1 [taun] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(place)¦ 2¦(main centre)¦ 3¦(people)¦ 4¦(where you live)¦ 5¦(village)¦ 6¦(not country)¦ 7 go to town (on something) 8 (out) on the town 9 town and gown ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [: Old English; …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • town — [ taun ] noun *** 1. ) count a place where people live and work that is smaller than a city: a small town an industrial town in China Mountains overlook the town on three sides. a town on the Mississippi River town of: the northern Wisconsin town …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Town — Town, n. [OE. toun, tun, AS. tun inclosure, fence, village, town; akin to D. tuin a garden, G. zaun a hadge, fence, OHG. zun, Icel. tun an inclosure, homestead, house, Ir. & Gael. dun a fortress, W. din. Cf. {Down}, adv. & prep., {Dune}, {tine}… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • town — [toun] n. [ME < OE tun, enclosed space, group of houses, village, town; akin to Ger zaun, fence, hedge, OIr dūn, fortified camp] 1. [Brit. Dial.] a group of houses; hamlet 2. a more or less concentrated group of houses and private and public… …   English World dictionary

  • town — ► NOUN 1) a settlement larger than a village and generally smaller than a city, with defined boundaries and local government. 2) the central part of a town or city, with its business or shopping area. 3) densely populated areas, especially as… …   English terms dictionary

  • Town — steht für: Stadt, im Englischen allgemein Town (Vereinigte Staaten), Siedlungsformen und Rechtseinheiten Town ist der Familienname von folgenden Personen: Harold Town (1924–1990), kanadischer Maler und Grafiker Siehe auch: Bell Town …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Town — /town/, n. Ithiel /ith ee euhl/, 1784 1844, U.S. architect. * * * (as used in expressions) Camden Town Group Cape Town new town town meeting * * * …   Universalium

  • town — index civic, community Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 town …   Law dictionary

  • Town —   [taʊn] die, / s,    1) im englischen Sprachgebrauch allgemeine Bezeichnung für kleinere Stadt.    2) Township [ ʃɪp], in den USA eine auf englischen Rechtstraditionen (Borough) beruhende, seit dem 17. Jahrhundert für Neuengland typische, später …   Universal-Lexikon

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