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

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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 In fact, the rioters breaking into the citadel of American democracy that day were acolytes of Mr. Trump, intent on stopping Congress from certifying his electoral defeat. New York Times, "How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot," 1 Mar. 2021 Here is Hazzikostas at last weekend's Blizzcon, talking with his hands about the black citadel of Torghast in a crewneck emblazoned with the Shadowlands logo. Luke Winkie, Wired, "How Blizzard Transforms Its Fans Into Employees," 27 Feb. 2021 Harbored in their midst is that nominally conservative outfit, the Hoover Institution, which more than a few professors hold as an infestation of the liberal citadel. Jack Fowler, National Review, "Stanford Lefties Must Swallow Their Hoover Hate — for Now," 25 Feb. 2021 Revolución is the little local engine that could, full to capacity on its third day at its third San Antonio location, a soaring citadel at The Rim that includes a rooftop hangout. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "5 great new coffee shops for a San Antonio wake-up call: Cultura, Laika Cheesecake & Espresso, Revolución Coffee + Juice, Tandem and Toro Coffee," 28 Jan. 2021 A week after the storming of the Capitol — and less than a week before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden — the photos emerging from inside the citadel of democracy were of a military encampment on its marble floors. Justin Davidson, Curbed, "Can an Armored Capitol Still Be the People’s House?," 14 Jan. 2021 In early November, Azerbaijani troops wrested the mountaintop citadel of Shusha from Armenian control, scaling the wooded slopes and fighting hand-to-hand in close combat through the streets. New York Times, "In Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Deal, Putin Applied a Deft New Touch," 1 Dec. 2020 Peru’s majestic Incan citadel of Machu Picchu is expected to reopen Sunday after seven months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Editors, USA TODAY, "Trump and Biden campaigns, Halloween, daylight saving time: 5 things to know this weekend," 31 Oct. 2020 Gatherings may be smaller, but consumer surveys suggest Americans will seek traditions this holiday season as a citadel of comfort. Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune, "With rituals upended, Minnesotans rethink Thanksgiving," 14 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for citadel

Time Traveler

The first known use of citadel was in 1542

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Statistics for citadel

Last Updated

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Citadel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for citadel



English Language Learners Definition of citadel

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


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

Kids Definition of citadel

: a fortress that sits high above a city

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