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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Coun·ty n.; pl. Counties
 1. An earldom; the domain of a count or earl. [Obs.]
 2. A circuit or particular portion of a state or kingdom, separated from the rest of the territory, for certain purposes in the administration of justice and public affairs; -- called also a shire. See Shire.
    Every county, every town, every family, was in agitation.   --Macaulay.
 3. A count; an earl or lord. [Obs.]
 County commissioners. See Commissioner.
 County corporate, a city or town having the privilege to be a county by itself, and to be governed by its own sheriffs and other magistrates, irrespective of the officers of the county in which it is situated; as London, York, Bristol, etc. [Eng.] --Mozley & W.
 County court, a court whose jurisdiction is limited to county.
 County palatine, a county distinguished by particular privileges; -- so called a palatio (from the palace), because the owner had originally royal powers, or the same powers, in the administration of justice, as the king had in his palace; but these powers are now abridged. The counties palatine, in England, are Lancaster, Chester, and Durham.
 County rates, rates levied upon the county, and collected by the boards of guardians, for the purpose of defraying the expenses to which counties are liable, such as repairing bridges, jails, etc.  [Eng.]
 County seat, a county town. [U.S.]
 County sessions, the general quarter sessions of the peace for each county, held four times a year. [Eng.]
 County town, the town of a county, where the county business is transacted; a shire town.