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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
market town
▪ For a small firm of solicitors in a market town, conveyancing has accounted for about half of all fee income.
▪ Nearby Newark is a picturesque market town with a cobbled square overlooked by buildings of architectural interest.
▪ Sited ten miles west of Oxford is the small market town of Witney.
▪ When they had all arrived in the little Cumbrian market town about fourteen years ago, everything had seemed rosy.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Market town

Market \Mar"ket\, n. [Akin to D. markt, OHG. mark[=a]t, merk[=a]t, G. markt; all fr.L. mercatus trade, market place, fr. mercari, p. p. mercatus, to trade, traffic, merx, mercis, ware, merchandise, prob. akin to merere to deserve, gain, acquire: cf. F. march['e]. See Merit, and cf. Merchant, Mart.]

  1. A meeting together of people, at a stated time and place, for the purpose of buying and selling (as cattle, provisions, wares, etc.) by private purchase and sale, and not by auction; as, a market is held in the town every week; a farmers' market.

    He is wit's peddler; and retails his wares At wakes, and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs.

    Three women and a goose make a market.
    --Old Saying.

  2. A public place (as an open space in a town) or a large building, where a market is held; a market place or market house; esp., a place where provisions are sold.

    There is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool.
    --John v. 2.

  3. An opportunity for selling or buying anything; demand, as shown by price offered or obtainable; as, to find a market for one's wares; there is no market for woolen cloths in that region; India is a market for English goods; there are none for sale on the market; the best price on the market.

    There is a third thing to be considered: how a market can be created for produce, or how production can be limited to the capacities of the market.
    --J. S. Mill.

  4. Exchange, or purchase and sale; traffic; as, a dull market; a slow market.

  5. The price for which a thing is sold in a market; market price. Hence: Value; worth.

    What is a man If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed?

  6. (Eng. Law) The privelege granted to a town of having a public market.

  7. A specified group of potential buyers, or a region in which goods may be sold; a town, region, or country, where the demand exists; as, the under-30 market; the New Jersey market.

    Note: Market is often used adjectively, or in forming compounds of obvious meaning; as, market basket, market day, market folk, market house, marketman, market place, market price, market rate, market wagon, market woman, and the like.

    Market beater, a swaggering bully; a noisy braggart. [Obs.]

    Market bell, a bell rung to give notice that buying and selling in a market may begin. [Eng.]

    Market cross, a cross set up where a market is held.

    Market garden, a garden in which vegetables are raised for market.

    Market gardening, the raising of vegetables for market.

    Market place, an open square or place in a town where markets or public sales are held.

    Market town, a town that has the privilege of a stated public market.

market town

n. a town that has a traditional right to hold a regular market

market town

n. a (usually small) town where a public market is held at stated times

Market town

Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the Middle Ages, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city. A town may be correctly described as a "market town" or as having "market rights", even if it no longer holds a market, provided the legal right to do so still exists.