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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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town

TOWN, n.

1. Originally, a walled or fortified place; a collection of houses inclosed with walls, hedges or pickets for safety. Rahab's house was on the town wall. Josh. 2.

A town that hath gates and bars. 1 Sam. 23.

2. Any collection of houses, larger than a village. In this use the word is very indefinite, and a town may consist of twenty houses, or of twenty thousand.

3. In England, any number of houses to which belongs a regular market, and which is not a city or the see of a bishop.

A town, in modern times, is generally without walls, which is the circumstance that usually distinguishes it from a city.

In the United States, the circumstance that distinguishes a town from a city, is generally that a city is incorporated with special privileges, and a town is not. But a city is often called a town.

4. The inhabitants of a town. The town voted to send two representatives to the legislature, or they voted to lay a tax for repairing the highways.

5. In popular usage, in America, a township; the whole territory within certain limits.

6. In England,the court end of London.

7. The inhabitants of the metropolis.

8. The metropolis. The gentleman lives in town in winter; in summer he lives in the country. The same form of expression is used in regard to other populous towns.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [town]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

TOWN, n.

1. Originally, a walled or fortified place; a collection of houses inclosed with walls, hedges or pickets for safety. Rahab's house was on the town wall. Josh. 2.

A town that hath gates and bars. 1 Sam. 23.

2. Any collection of houses, larger than a village. In this use the word is very indefinite, and a town may consist of twenty houses, or of twenty thousand.

3. In England, any number of houses to which belongs a regular market, and which is not a city or the see of a bishop.

A town, in modern times, is generally without walls, which is the circumstance that usually distinguishes it from a city.

In the United States, the circumstance that distinguishes a town from a city, is generally that a city is incorporated with special privileges, and a town is not. But a city is often called a town.

4. The inhabitants of a town. The town voted to send two representatives to the legislature, or they voted to lay a tax for repairing the highways.

5. In popular usage, in America, a township; the whole territory within certain limits.

6. In England,the court end of London.

7. The inhabitants of the metropolis.

8. The metropolis. The gentleman lives in town in winter; in summer he lives in the country. The same form of expression is used in regard to other populous towns.

TOWN, n. [Sax. tun; W. din, dinas, a fortified hill, a fort; Gaelic, dun; Sax. dun, dune, a hill, whence downs. The Sax. tun signifies an inclosure, a garden, a village, a town, and tynan is to shut, to make fast; G. zaun, a hedge; D. tun, a garden. If the original word signified a hill, the sense is a mass or collection. But probably the original word signified fortified, and the rude fortifications of uncivilized men were formed with hedges and stakes; hence also a garden. See Garden and Tun. Sax. leactune, a garden, that is, leek-town, an inclosure for leeks, that is plants. This shows that the primary sense of town is an inclosure for defense.]

  1. Originally, a walled or fortified place; a collection of houses inclosed with walls, hedges, or pickets for safety. Rahab's house was on the town wall. Josh. ii. A town that hath gates and bars. 1 Sam. xxiii.
  2. Any collection of houses, larger than a village. In this use the word is very indefinite, and a town may consist of twenty houses, or of twenty thousand.
  3. In England, any number of houses to which belongs a regular market, and which is not a city or the see of a bishop. Johnson. A town, in modern times, is generally without walls, which is the circumstance that usually distinguishes it from a city. Cyc. In the United States, the circumstance that distinguishes a town from a city, is, generally, that a city is incorporated with special privileges, and a town is not. But a city is often called a town.
  4. The inhabitants of a town. The town voted to send two representatives to the legislature, or they voted to lay a tax for repairing the highways. New England. Chapman.
  5. In popular usage, in America, a township; the whole territory within certain limits.
  6. In England, the court end of London. Pope.
  7. The inhabitants of the metropolis. Pope.
  8. The metropolis. The gentleman lives in town in winter; in summer he lives in the country. The same form of expression is used in regard to other populous towns.

Town
  1. Formerly: (a) An inclosure which surrounded the mere homestead or dwelling of the lord of the manor. [Obs.] (b) The whole of the land which constituted the domain. [Obs.] (c) A collection of houses inclosed by fences or walls.

    [Obs.] Palsgrave.
  2. Any number or collection of houses to which belongs a regular market, and which is not a city or the see of a bishop.

    [Eng.] Johnson.
  3. Any collection of houses larger than a village, and not incorporated as a city] also, loosely, any large, closely populated place, whether incorporated or not, in distinction from the country, or from rural communities.

    God made the country, and man made the town. Cowper.

  4. The body of inhabitants resident in a town; as, the town voted to send two representatives to the legislature; the town voted to lay a tax for repairing the highways.
  5. A township; the whole territory within certain limits, less than those of a country.

    [U. S.]
  6. The court end of London;-- commonly with the.
  7. The metropolis or its inhabitants; as, in winter the gentleman lives in town; in summer, in the country.

    Always hankering after the diversions of the town. Addison.

    Stunned with his giddy larum half the town. Pope.

    * The same form of expressions is used in regard to other populous towns.

  8. A farm or farmstead; also, a court or farmyard.

    [Prov. Eng. *** Scot.]

    &fist] Town is often used adjectively or in combination with other words; as, town clerk, or town-clerk; town- crier, or town crier; townhall, town-hall, or town hall; townhouse, town house, or town- house.

    Syn. -- Village; hamlet. See Village.

    Town clerk, an office who keeps the records of a town, and enters its official proceedings. See Clerk. -- Town cress (Bot.), the garden cress, or peppergrass. Dr. Prior. -- Town house. (a) A house in town, in distinction from a house in the country. (b) See Townhouse. -- Town meeting, a legal meeting of the inhabitants of a town entitled to vote, for the transaction of public bisiness. [U. S.] -- Town talk, the common talk of a place; the subject or topic of common conversation.

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Town

TOWN, noun

1. Originally, a walled or fortified place; a collection of houses inclosed with walls, hedges or pickets for safety. Rahab's house was on the town wall. Joshua 2:15.

A town that hath gates and bars. 1 Samuel 23:7.

2. Any collection of houses, larger than a village. In this use the word is very indefinite, and a town may consist of twenty houses, or of twenty thousand.

3. In England, any number of houses to which belongs a regular market, and which is not a city or the see of a bishop.

A town in modern times, is generally without walls, which is the circumstance that usually distinguishes it from a city.

In the United States, the circumstance that distinguishes a town from a city, is generally that a city is incorporated with special privileges, and a town is not. But a city is often called a town

4. The inhabitants of a town The town voted to send two representatives to the legislature, or they voted to lay a tax for repairing the highways.

5. In popular usage, in America, a township; the whole territory within certain limits.

6. In England, the court end of London.

7. The inhabitants of the metropolis.

8. The metropolis. The gentleman lives in town in winter; in summer he lives in the country. The same form of expression is used in regard to other populous towns.

TOWN'-CLERK, noun [town and clerk.] An officer who keeps the records of a town and enters all its official proceedings.

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— Tom (Bloomington, IN)

Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

unshod

UNSHOD', a. Not shod; having no shoes.

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

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Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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