Definition of county in English:



  • 1A territorial division of some countries, forming the chief unit of local administration:

    ‘one of the most attractive towns in the county’
    [as modifier] ‘administration at county level’
    • ‘All the local counties are organising activities so you cannot complain of boredom!’
    • ‘When he asked the county administration for a copy, he was told the permit couldn't be found.’
    • ‘Local councils across the county have also signed up to the campaign.’
    • ‘He outlined in particular, the importance of the local hospital for the county.’
    • ‘But he claimed highways chiefs from the county's local councils had been insistent that the 11 additional sites were needed now.’
    • ‘Residents will have the chance to express their views and concerns about local policing to the county's chief constable in a live webchat next week.’
    • ‘The majority live and work in every corner of the county - delivering local, not remote services.’
    • ‘Furthermore, they competed with local authorities from 31 counties for this prestigious award.’
    • ‘This moved away from the British idea of counties and parishes as the territorial units of local government.’
    • ‘The violent attack on the county chief is a serious challenge to state authority that should never be tolerated under any circumstance.’
    • ‘Most of the close contacts and people under observation were locals from the county.’
    • ‘Residents have urged the county's traffic chiefs to fund separate safety measures in a bid to halt the mounting death toll.’
    • ‘On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters drove trucks into the county administration building and injured a score of police troops on guard.’
    • ‘The results in the local county assembly election district were more mixed.’
    • ‘He pointed out that in other counties the local GP carried out the inspections, which fast tracked the grant approval process.’
    • ‘Most county and local governments, including school districts, also offer some sort of supplementary compensation.’
    • ‘That means in areas which still have county councils, either the county or the local district would have to go.’
    • ‘But the county's fire chief said he thought the dispute was damaging and could be protracted.’
    • ‘England is also a culture of many smaller regionalisms, still centered on the old governmental unit of the county and the local villages and towns.’
    • ‘In this article, we refer to all county-level units as counties.’
    shire, province, territory, administrative unit, sector, department, state
    region, district, area, zone
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    1. 1.1British A sporting team playing for a county:
      ‘it is the county's third final in four years’
      • ‘I was brought up in Leicestershire and I used to play for the county team at Under 15 to Under 19 level.’
      • ‘They have probably the best forward unit in the county and a strong midfield.’
      • ‘The India ‘A’ team was aware of the fact that it would not be pitted against the first eleven of the county teams.’
      • ‘It's vital for us as a team and as a county that we get to the final.’
      • ‘Many, many more who couldn't get in and went and played for other counties.’
      • ‘But who, if anyone, will become the first overseas player to score a century on his championship debut for the county?’
      • ‘His introduction to Test cricket in 1993 saw him savaged by the Australians and he looked like another devastating county bowler not tough enough for England.’
      • ‘The competition is being held at Rugby School and has attracted county teams from across the country.’
      • ‘The county's governing body is launching a veterans' league, mainly consisting of semi-professionals who are beyond their sell-by date.’
      • ‘He struck 14 fours off 119 balls while his teammate's unbeaten 21 equalled his career-best score for the county.’
      • ‘West Yorkshire again took the county team title.’
      • ‘He used to play hockey for a national league team and his county but nowadays he runs to keep fit.’
      • ‘All three have come up through the county sides, the boys, the colts and the full county teams.’
      • ‘He was the leading scorer for his county despite his team finishing last in the championships.’
      • ‘He has a bat to give away to the first kid that can name the English county team he played for.’
    2. 1.2 (in the US) a political and administrative division of a state.
      • ‘The supervisors may be able to exert political pressure, but have little other power over the county's transportation plans.’
      • ‘The county has a political structure that has pushed for integrated housing and public facilities.’
      • ‘He also asked for an assurance that I not am involved politically in espousing equal rights in the county.’
      • ‘He said a state law required the county to give the major political parties their copies for free.’
      • ‘That alone made it an alluring county for political consultants to work in.’
      • ‘Critics charged that the board favored certain counties with ties to the political party in power.’
      • ‘On the basis of his study of the political conflict in that county, the author argues that the civil war was in its beginning a revolt against high taxes.’
      • ‘He also was the only pro-life Democratic politician in the county.’
      • ‘The data were initially collected at the county level for all metropolitan counties in the United States.’
      • ‘His spending blazed a new path through the county's usual political circuit.’
      • ‘It's a big deal here, in a county where politics means everything.’
      • ‘The political absorption of the county by London gathered pace in the 19th cent.’
      • ‘Here was the role of parliament, building up and extending the active social and political life of the counties and towns.’
      • ‘The sites can be used to highlight important issues being tackled in the community as well as basic information such as county division and political party.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the man and his family have retaliated against the county and its political system.’
      province, federal state, region, territory, canton, department, area, district, sector, zone
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    3. 1.3British [as modifier] Relating to or characteristic of aristocratic people with an ancestral home in a particular county:
      ‘a county grande dame’
      landowning, landed, upper-class, well born, high-born, noble-born, noble, aristocratic, patrician, titled, blue-blooded, born with a silver spoon in one's mouth
      upper-crust, top-drawer, huntin', shootin', and fishin', tweedy, classy, posh
      gentle, of gentle birth
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Middle English: from Old French conte, from Latin comitatus, from comes, comit- (see count). The word seems first to have denoted a periodical meeting held to transact shire business.