noun, often attributive \ˈsi-tē\

: a place where people live that is larger or more important than a town : an area where many people live and work

: the people in a city

the city : the government of a city

plural cit·ies

Full Definition of CITY

a :  an inhabited place of greater size, population, or importance than a town or village
b :  an incorporated British town usually of major size or importance having the status of an episcopal see
c capitalized
(1) :  the financial district of London (2) :  the influential financial interests of the British economy
d :  a usually large or important municipality in the United States governed under a charter granted by the state
e :  an incorporated municipal unit of the highest class in Canada
:  the people of a city
slang :  a thing, event, or situation that is strongly characterized by a specified quintessential feature or quality <the movie was shoot-out city>

Examples of CITY

  1. major cities like London, Tokyo, and Rome
  2. The city is working to make the streets safer.
  3. a lawsuit against the city

Origin of CITY

Middle English citie large or small town, from Anglo-French cité, from Medieval Latin civitat-, civitas, from Latin, citizenship, state, city of Rome, from civis citizen — more at hind
First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with CITY


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Relatively permanent and highly organized centre of population, of greater size or importance than a town or village. The first cities appeared in Neolithic times when the development of agricultural techniques assured surplus crop yields large enough to sustain a permanent population. Ancient Greece saw the creation of the city-state, a form also important in the emergence of the Roman empire as well as the medieval Italian trading centers of Venice, Genoa, and Florence. After the Middle Ages, cities came increasingly under the political control of centralized government and served the interests of the nation-state. The Industrial Revolution further transformed city life, as factory cities blossomed rapidly in England, northwestern Europe, and the northeastern U.S. By the mid-20th century, 30–60% of a country’s population might be living in its major urban centers. With the rise of the automobile came the growth of suburbs and urban sprawl, as factories, offices, and residences erected in earlier periods became aged and obsolete. Today many cities suffer from lack of adequate housing, sanitation, recreational space, and transportation facilities, and face problems of inner-city decay or burgeoning shantytowns. Local governments have sought to alleviate these problems through urban planning.


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