Definition of local in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈləʊk(ə)l/


1Relating or restricted to a particular area or one’s neighbourhood: researching local history the local post office
More example sentences
  • Pupils at a Bolton school are set to embark on a fascinating journey of discovery into the history of their local area.
  • He said the sub committee would be comprised of local people who knew the local history and area.
  • The class ask her to fill in the gaps in the local history of the area, which is not always in the history books.
community, district, neighbourhood, regional, city, town, municipal, provincial, village, parish, parish-pump, parochial;
domestic, internal, home
1.1Denoting a telephone call made to a nearby place and charged at a relatively low rate.
Example sentences
  • How can I log on to local internet providers and pay only local phone charges when I am abroad?
  • At the same time, it is moving to expand its local phone service in existing markets.
  • The boxes allow Internet access through a television and telephone line, at local call rate.
1.2Denoting a train or bus serving a particular district, with frequent stops: the village has an excellent local bus service
More example sentences
  • A journey with many stops, this is living life local train style, in less than ten seconds.
  • Possibly the local train may have observed something which may throw some light upon the matter.
  • One of these boys who use the local train for their nefarious activities become the victim of a braggart.
2(In technical use) relating to a particular region or part, or to each of any number of these: a local infection migration can regulate the local density of animals
More example sentences
  • However, as it only appeared in the left foot, it was probably just a local infection which may have caused the man to limp.
confined, restricted, contained, limited, localized;
circumscribed, delimited, specific, particular
2.1 Computing Denoting a variable or other entity that is only available for use in one part of a program.
Example sentences
  • It looks for local keys, not over the Internet, and that's very much the point.
2.2 Computing Denoting a device that can be accessed without the use of a network. Compare with remote.
Example sentences
  • BT could be ready to cut charges that give rival operators access to its local network.
  • The files are on your local computer, and you need to upload them to the Web server.
  • This is not a critical risk, as only people on the local machine may logon to this account with a blank password.


1A local person or thing, in particular:
1.1An inhabitant of a particular area or neighbourhood: the street was full of locals and tourists
More example sentences
  • Many artists choose to live in this portion of town because other artists are already established here and tourists and locals flock to the area to shop.
  • He described how she obtained the methamphetamines from the north and he sold the drugs to foreign tourists while she contacted locals in the area.
  • That area, which includes the Cowgate, is very popular among drinkers and clubbers on a Saturday night, and it is also a residential area for locals and students.
local person, native, inhabitant, resident, parishioner, citizen
humorous denizen, burgher
derogatory, informal local yokel
1.2British informal A pub convenient to a person’s home: a pint in the local
More example sentences
  • Pop down to the local for a pint and a sandwich and it means you're meeting somebody you actually like and the business can go hang.
  • And yours truly will either be celebrating like mad or crying into my pint down the local.
  • We don't care if you're the type of guy we could have a pint with down the local.
pub, public house, bar, inn, tavern, hostelry, saloon, wine bar
informal boozer, watering hole, drinker
1.3A local train or bus service: catch the local into New Delhi
More example sentences
  • Everyone going to intermediate stops had to get off there and switch to the next local.
1.4North American A local branch of an organization, especially a trade union.
Example sentences
  • It boasts two radio stations, a housing corporation, a law office, and affiliate relationships with a host of trade-union locals.
  • The trade union local argues that the interests of the staff are prejudiced in this way.
  • Referrals may include human resources departments, union locals, government departments, or legal services.
1.5 Stock Market , informal A floor trader who trades on their own account, rather than on behalf of other investors.
Example sentences
  • The opening of B share trading to locals in February freed $75 billion for stock investment and sent prices surging.



Example sentences
  • Our research supports the thesis in the draft Communications Bill that localness is one of the most important factors driving local commercial radio.
  • ‘I'm afraid we're going to lose this localness,’ he said.
  • Elsewhere they play up his localness (regrettably they avoid using the phrase ‘for local people’), and his forty-something youth.


Late Middle English: from late Latin localis, from Latin locus 'place'.

  • Local is from Latin locus ‘place’. At first used to mean ‘concerned with place or position’, it was applied more specifically to a small area with respect to its inhabitants from the late 17th century. Locals described the inhabitants themselves from the mid 19th century. The same root is found in allocation (Late Middle English) from allocare ‘allot’, dislocate (late 16th century) ‘displace’, locate (early 16th century), locomotive (early 17th century), something that could move its place, and locale (late 18th century). This is from French local, the same as the English word, but with an ‘e’ added to show the change in pronunciation ( compare moral and morale).

Words that rhyme with local

bifocal, focal, univocal, varifocal, vocal, yokel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: local

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