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[dis-trikt] /ˈdɪs trɪkt/
a division of territory, as of a country, state, or county, marked off for administrative, electoral, or other purposes.
a region or locality:
the theater district; the Lake District.
British. a subdivision of a county or a town.
the District, the District of Columbia; Washington, D.C.
verb (used with object)
to divide into districts.
Origin of district
1605-15; (< F) < Medieval Latin distrīctus exercise of justice, (area of) jurisdiction, derivative of Latin distringere to stretch out (see distrain), equivalent to di- di-2 + strig- (base of stringere to bind, tie) + -tus suffix of verbal action
Related forms
interdistrict, adjective
outdistrict, noun
predistrict, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for district
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But after Dayton's return with his prisoners you will be my representative in that district.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • He found the district to the north to be a dreary waste, destitute of food and water.

  • And if they are asked why, they answer: ‘There are three great evils in our district!’

  • It has also passed a model child-labor law for the district of Columbia.

  • The reference was to the safe in which the old people in the district stored their gains.

    Auld Licht Idylls J. M. Barrie
British Dictionary definitions for district


  1. an area of land marked off for administrative or other purposes
  2. (as modifier): district nurse
a locality separated by geographical attributes; region
any subdivision of any territory, region, etc
(in England from 1974 and in Wales 1974–96) any of the subdivisions of the nonmetropolitan counties that elects a council responsible for local planning, housing, rates, etc See also metropolitan district
(in Scotland until 1975) a landward division of a county
(in Scotland 1975–96) any of the subdivisions of the regions that elected a council responsible for environmental health services, housing, etc
any of the 26 areas into which Northern Ireland has been divided since 1973. Elected district councils are responsible for environmental health services, etc
(transitive) to divide into districts
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin districtus area of jurisdiction, from Latin distringere to stretch out; see distrain
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
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Word Origin and History for district

1610s, "territory under the jurisdiction of a lord or officer," from French district (16c.), from Medieval Latin districtus "restraining of offenders, jurisdiction," then under the feudal system "area of jurisdiction," noun use of past participle of Latin distringere "hinder, detain" (see distress). Used vaguely of "any tract of land" from 1712. District attorney attested by 1789, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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