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tour / toŏr/ • n. 1. a journey for pleasure in which several different places are visited: three couples from Kansas on an airline tour of Alaska. ∎  a short trip to or through a place in order to view or inspect something: a tour of the White House. 2. a journey made by performers or an athletic team, in which they perform or play in several different places: she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company on tour. ∎  (the tour) (in golf, tennis, and other sports) the annual round of events in which top professionals compete. 3. (also tour of duty) a period of duty on military or diplomatic service: he was haunted by his tour of duty in Vietnam. • v. [tr.] make a tour of (an area): he decided to tour France | [intr.] they had toured in a little minivan. ∎  take (a performer, production, etc.) on tour. ORIGIN: Middle English (sense 3; also denoting a circular movement): from Old French, ‘turn,’ via Latin from Greek tornos ‘lathe.’ Sense 1 dates from the mid 17th cent.

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tour one's turn, spell of duty XIV; † circular movement XV; travelling round, circuitous journey XVII. — (O)F. tour, earlier tor :- L. tornus lathe (see TURN).
Hence tour vb. make a tour (of). XVIII. tourist XVIII, tourism XIX.