- Historical in England, a parish or division of a parish, as a unit of territory and administration
- in parts of the U.S. and Canada, a division of a county, constituting a unit of local government with administrative control of local schools, roads, etc.
- in New England, town (sense )
- a unit of territory in the U.S. land survey, generally six miles square, containing 36 mile-square sections, and sometimes, but not necessarily, coextensive with a governmental township
- in South Africa, a segregated, nonwhite area in or just outside a city
Origin of townshipMiddle English tunscipe ; from Old English people living in a tun: see town and amp; -ship
nounAbbr. Twp. or Tp. or T
- A subdivision of a county in most northeast and Midwest US states, having the status of a unit of local government with varying governmental powers.
- A public land surveying unit of 36 sections or 36 square miles.
- An ancient administrative division of a large parish in England.
- A suburb or city in South Africa formerly designated by the government as a predominantly black residential area.
- The territory of a town; a subdivision of a county.
- (South Africa, Pre 1994) An area set aside for nonwhite occupation.
- (South Africa, Post 1994) A nonwhite (usually subeconomic) area attached to a city.
- 1972, Daily Dispatch: "In addition, the council has completed the planning of a new Coloured township on the site of the existing African township"
In the U.S., the term "township" refers to a division of a county, and may include one or more towns, villages, hamlets, or small cities. It may also be an administrative district for an unincorporated rural area. The exact nature of a township, and its role in local administration, differs from state to state.
Old English tunscipe.