American English

Definition of town noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] a place where people live and work that is smaller than a city but has many houses, stores, etc. a college town They live in a rough part of town. The nearest town is ten miles away. the northern Vermont town of Saint Albans see also small-town You will find other compounds ending in town at their place in the alphabet.
  2. 2the town [singular] the people who live in a particular town The whole town is talking about it.
  3. 3[uncountable] the area of a town where most of the stores and businesses are Can you give me a lift into town? see also downtown, midtown, out-of-town, uptown
  4. 4[uncountable] a particular town where someone lives and works or one that has just been referred to I'll be in town next week if you want to meet. He married a girl from out of town. The gossips finally drove her out of town. This restaurant serves the best steaks in town. see also out-of-town
  5. 5[singular, uncountable] life in towns or cities as opposed to life in the country Pollution is just one of the disadvantages of living in town.
  6. Topic CollocationsTown and Countrytown live in a city/a town/an urban environment/the suburbs/the (housing) projects/shanty towns/slums/ (informal) a concrete jungle/the ghetto live downtown/in the downtown area/uptown/in midtown (Manhattan) enjoy/like the hectic pace of life/the hustle and bustle of city life cope with the stress/pressures of urban life get caught up in the rat race prefer/seek the anonymity of life in a big city be drawn to/resist the lure of the big city head for the bright lights (of the big city/New York) enjoy/love the vibrant/lively nightlife have/be close to all the amenities be surrounded by towering skyscrapers/soulless suburban sprawl use/travel by/rely on public transportation put up with/get stuck in/sit in massive/huge/heavy/endless/constant traffic jams tackle/ease/reduce/relieve/alleviate the heavy/severe (traffic) congestion be affected by/choked with/damaged by pollutioncountry live in a village/the countryside/an isolated area/a rural backwater/ (informal) the sticks/the boondocks enjoy/like the relaxed/slower pace of life enjoy/love/explore the great outdoors look for/find/get/enjoy a little peace and quiet need/want to get back/closer to nature be surrounded by open/unspoiled/picturesque/peaceful countryside escape/quit/get out of/leave the rat race seek/achieve a better/healthy work-life balance downshift to a less stressful life build/seek/start a new life in the country pull up stakes and move to/head for… create/build/foster a strong sense of community depend on/be employed in/work in agriculture live off/farm/work the land tackle/address the problem of rural/small-town unemploymentIdioms
    go to town (on something) (informal)
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    to do something with a lot of energy, enthusiasm, etc., especially by spending a lot of money They really went to town on the decorations for the party.
    a/the man about town
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    a man who frequently goes to fashionable parties, clubs, theaters, etc. In his new suit, he looked like the man about town.
    the only game in town (informal)
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    the most important thing of a particular type, or the only thing that is available
    (out) on the town (informal)
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    visiting restaurants, clubs, theaters, etc. for entertainment, especially at night a night on the town How about going out on the town tonight?
    paint the town (red) (informal)
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    to go to a lot of different bars, clubs, etc. and enjoy yourself
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: town