1. a division of territory, as of a country, state, or county, marked off for administrative, electoral, or other purposes.
  2. a region or locality: the theater district; the Lake District.
  3. British. a subdivision of a county or a town.
  4. the District, the District of Columbia; Washington, D.C.

verb (used with object)

  1. to divide into districts.


    1. an area of land marked off for administrative or other purposes
    2. (as modifier)district nurse
  1. a locality separated by geographical attributes; region
  2. any subdivision of any territory, region, etc
  3. (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, etcSee also metropolitan district
  4. (in Scotland until 1975) a landward division of a county
  5. (in Scotland 1975–96) any of the subdivisions of the regions that elected a council responsible for environmental health services, housing, etc
  6. any of the 26 areas into which Northern Ireland has been divided since 1973. Elected district councils are responsible for environmental health services, etc


  1. (tr) to divide into 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.

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