noun \ˈsi-tə-dəl, -ˌdel\

: a castle or fort that in past times was used to protect the people of a city if the city was attacked

Full Definition of CITADEL

:  a fortress that commands a city
:  stronghold <the nation's citadel of health research — Constance Holden> <a citadel of higher education>

Examples of CITADEL

  1. We visited a medieval citadel in Italy.
  2. <a massive stone citadel continues to command the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia>

Origin of CITADEL

Middle French citadelle, from Old Italian cittadella, diminutive of cittade city, from Medieval Latin civitat-, civitas — more at city
First Known Use: 1562

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical


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