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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.
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 districts
  • Each of the thirty legislative districts has one senator and two representatives.
  • These facilities serve the city, which is divided into five water districts.
  • Cities have the competencies otherwise granted to both districts and municipalities.
  • This city even had its different districts, much like modern city planning today.
  • These districts are subdivided into a total twentyeight subdistricts.
  • Their influence varies between moderate to very strong in these districts.
  • There are also three other smaller financial districts in amsterdam.
  • Sheriffdoms are divided into sheriff court districts, each with one or more sheriff.
  • Two neighboring school districts draw students from within the cedar rapids city limits.
  • Cotton cloths were exported to other districts in those days.
British Dictionary definitions for districts


  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 districts



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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