Meaning of “town” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"town" in British English

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townnoun

uk /taʊn/ us /taʊn/

A1 [ C or U ] a place where people live and work, containing many houses, shops, places of work, places of entertainment, etc., and usually larger than a village but smaller than a city:

a seaside/coastal town
He was born in the small town of Castleford, in Yorkshire.
We stayed in the best hotel in town.
the main road into/out of town

A2 [ S or U ] mainly UK the part of a town where most of the businesses are:

I'm going into/to town at lunchtime to do some shopping.
I met Charles while I was in town.
Compare

[ U ] UK the most important city or town in a country or area:

We went up to town to see a play.
Many people commute into town (= London) from Essex.

B1 [ U ] mainly US the place where you live or work:

I'm leaving town for a few days.
Barbara is out of town on business this week.
the town [ S ]

[ + sing/pl verb ] the people who live in the town:

The whole town is/are hoping that their team will win the final tomorrow.

UK a town or city, rather than the countryside:

I've always lived in the town.

More examples

  • There's not much in the way of entertainment in this town - just the cinema and a couple of pubs.
  • We spent our holidays in a small French town.
  • The town's main features are its beautiful mosque and ancient marketplace.
  • As agriculture became more capital intensive, many farm labourers moved to the towns and cities to look for work.
  • When you're in town could you pick up the books I ordered?

(Definition of “town” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"town" in American English

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townnoun [ C/U ]

us /tɑʊn/

a place where there are a lot of houses, stores, and other buildings which is smaller than a city:

[ C ] He was born in the small town of Elnora, Indiana.
[ U ] We stayed at the best hotel in town.

Town can also mean the place where you live or work:

[ U ] Barbara is out of town this week.

Town is also the part of a town where the main stores are:

[ U ] I’m going into/to town to do some shopping.

Town can also refer to the people who live in the town:

[ C ] The whole town is hoping our team will win.

Idiom(s)

(Definition of “town” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)