cit·​a·​del | \ ˈsi-tə-dᵊl How to pronounce citadel (audio) , -ˌdel \

Definition of citadel

1 : a fortress that commands (see command entry 1 sense 2c) a city
2 : stronghold the nation's citadel of health research— Constance Holden a citadel of higher education

Examples of citadel in a Sentence

We visited a medieval citadel in Italy. a massive stone citadel continues to command the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia
Recent Examples on the Web Unfortunately, the ancient hall was built over the citadel’s latrines. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, 9 June 2022 Nestled in the Andes between the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu and the Incan capital Cusco, this eco-friendly resort sits amid one of the world's most spectacular landscapes. CNN, 27 Apr. 2022 At this moment in history, the UAE is working hard to establish itself as a citadel of tolerance in the Islamic world. The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 June 2022 But in times like these, a rabid fox spreading terror in the citadel of US democracy is the kind of Washington metaphor that writes itself. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 7 Apr. 2022 This special-purpose computer acts as a type of AI confinement citadel. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 5 May 2022 On the far side of the citadel, a mysterious trench bisects a field of bedrock. New York Times, 20 Apr. 2022 Work on the citadel will include extensive restorations, as well as the creation of a new museum. Gisela Williams, Travel + Leisure, 15 Mar. 2022 No sources before 1912 refer to the citadel as Machu Picchu. Jane Recker, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'citadel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of citadel

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for citadel

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

Learn More About citadel

Time Traveler for citadel

Time Traveler

The first known use of citadel was in 1542

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near citadel




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for citadel

Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Citadel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for citadel


cit·​a·​del | \ ˈsi-tə-dᵊl How to pronounce citadel (audio) , -ˌdel \

Kids Definition of citadel

: a fortress that sits high above a city

More from Merriam-Webster on citadel

Nglish: Translation of citadel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of citadel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about citadel


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!