n. pl. coun·ties
1. The largest administrative division of most states in the United States.
a. A territorial division exercising administrative, judicial, and political functions in Great Britain and Ireland.
b. The territory under the jurisdiction of a count or earl.
3. The people living in a county.
[Middle English counte, territorial division, from Old French conte, the territory of a count, from Medieval Latin comitātus, from Late Latin, the office of count, from Latin, retinue, from comes, comit-, companion; see ei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.