The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
County \Coun"ty\ (koun"t[y^]), n.; pl. Counties (-t[i^]z). [F.
comt['e], fr. LL. comitatus. See Count.]
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
3. A count; an earl or lord. [Obs.] --Shak.
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 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
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.