Pronunciation: (toun'ship), [key]
1. 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.
2. (in U.S. surveys of public land) a region or district approximately 6 miles square (93.2 sq. km), containing 36 sections.
3. Eng. Hist.
a. 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.
b. the manor, parish, etc., itself.
c. its inhabitants.
4. (in Australia)
a. a small town or settlement serving as the business center of a rural area.
b. the business center of a town or suburb.
5. (in South Africa) a segregated residential settlement for blacks, located outside a city or town.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.