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[toun-ship] /ˈtaʊn ʃɪp/
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.
(in U.S. surveys of public land) a region or district approximately 6 miles square (93.2 sq. km), containing 36 sections.
English History.
  1. 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.
  2. the manor, parish, etc., itself.
  3. its inhabitants.
  1. a small town or settlement serving as the business center of a rural area.
  2. the business center of a town or suburb.
(in South Africa) a segregated residential settlement for blacks, located outside a city or town.
before 900; Middle English tounship community, Old English tūnscipe village community. See town, -ship Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for township
  • 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.
  • Therefore, the north edge of every township is slightly shorter than the south.
  • After leading a protest in his township, he was arrested and released.
  • township residents have rejected a proposed referendum proposal to ask whether they want to abolish the township government.
  • The township made the purchase with reserve funds and not with tax dollars.
British Dictionary definitions for township


a small town
(in the Scottish Highlands and islands) a small crofting community
(in the US and Canada) a territorial area, esp a subdivision of a county: often organized as a unit of local government
(formerly, in South Africa) a planned urban settlement of Black Africans or Coloured people Compare location (sense 4)
(English history)
  1. any of the local districts of a large parish, each division containing a village or small town
  2. the particular manor or parish itself as a territorial division
  3. the inhabitants of a township collectively
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 township

Old English tunscipe "inhabitants or population of a town." Applied in Middle English 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 1530s; 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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