township

[toun-ship]
noun
1.
a unit of local government, usually a subdivision of a county, found in most midwestern and northeastern states of the U.S. and in most Canadian provinces.
2.
(in U.S. surveys of public land) a region or district approximately 6 miles square (93.2 sq. km), containing 36 sections.
3.
English History.
a.
one of the local divisions or districts of a large parish, each containing a village or small town, usually with a church of its own.
b.
the manor, parish, etc., itself.
c.
its inhabitants.
4.
a.
a small town or settlement serving as the business center of a rural area.
b.
the business center of a town or suburb.
5.
(in South Africa) a segregated residential settlement for blacks, located outside a city or town.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English tounship community, Old English tūnscipe village community. See town, -ship

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
township (ˈtaʊnʃɪp)
 
n
1.  a small town
2.  (in the Scottish Highlands and islands) a small crofting community
3.  (in the US and Canada) a territorial area, esp a subdivision of a county: often organized as a unit of local government
4.  Compare location (formerly, in South Africa) a planned urban settlement of Black Africans or Coloured people
5.  English history
 a.  any of the local districts of a large parish, each division containing a village or small town
 b.  the particular manor or parish itself as a territorial division
 c.  the inhabitants of a township collectively

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

township
O.E. tunscipe "inhabitants or population of a town." Applied in M.E. to "manor, parish, or other division of a hundred." Specific sense of "local division or district in a parish, each with a village or small town and its own church" is from 1540; as a local municipal division of a county in U.S. and
Canada, first recorded 1685.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Imagine if your county, township, or neighborhood had it's own energy source.
Visitors to the area will not find any motels within the township.
Many township hospitals can now do little more than dispense medicine.
The newcomers, known as prawns and numbering millions, are fenced into a
  township and forced to scavenge.
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