township

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town

town, in the United States. In the New England states the town is the basic unit of local government. The New England town government's unique feature is the town meeting, much praised as a nearly pure form of democracy. At the annual meeting of voters, town officers are elected and local issues such as town tax rates are decided. Elsewhere in the United States the term town has little political use, signifying only a place incorporated as a town or simply a population center. However, township has legal meaning—a geographical division of the county, established in land surveys and usually made up of 36 sections, each with roughly an area of 1 sq mi (2.6 sq km). Except in the Middle Atlantic states, townships are seldom units of local government.
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Township

A political and geographic area within the boundaries of a municipal government; sometimes separate from a larger county.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

township

1. a small town
2. (in the Scottish Highlands and islands) a small crofting community
3. (in the US and Canada) a territorial area, esp a subdivision of a county: often organized as a unit of local government
4. (formerly, in South Africa) a planned urban settlement of Black Africans or Coloured people
5. English history
a. any of the local districts of a large parish, each division containing a village or small town
b. the particular manor or parish itself as a territorial division
c. the inhabitants of a township collectively
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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