cit·​a·​del ˈsi-tə-dᵊl How to pronounce citadel (audio)
: a fortress that commands (see command entry 1 sense 2c) a city
: stronghold
the nation's citadel of health researchConstance 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 Nestled among these urban citadels were older industrial buildings, revitalized in a neighborhood that had fallen on hard times. Inside the rooms, the cardboard, recyclable beds used in Tokyo are back. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 26 Mar. 2024 Image ● Izamal Image Izamal has been continuously occupied for more than a thousand years, first by Maya, then by Franciscan monks, who built their monastery on the foundation of an ancient citadel. Matthew Pillsbury Nicholas Casey, New York Times, 21 Mar. 2024 And that’s the reason reason has yet to dent the citadel of MAGA, and never will. Peter Rubin, Longreads, 19 Mar. 2024 For the best views, head up to the clifftop and visit the citadel that watches over the town. Ingrid K. Williams, Travel + Leisure, 6 Jan. 2024 Machu Picchu is one of those rare bucket list travel destinations that truly exceeded my expectations; the 15th-century Inca citadel is well-maintained and properly regulated by the Peruvian government to ensure travelers have an incredible experience. Kaitlyn McInnis, Travel + Leisure, 23 Jan. 2024 Even after three years, law enforcement and federal judges are feeling the reverberations of what has become the largest criminal investigation in American history, and the public is still wrestling with how the assault on the citadel of U.S. democracy will define the country’s laws and politics. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 6 Jan. 2024 At Vicksburg, Major General Ulysses S. Grant forced the surrender of the citadel—the last major Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River—isolating Confederate resources in Arkansas, Texas and parts of Louisiana while providing the U.S. Army control of the Mississippi River. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Oct. 2023 From Paris to Bucharest and from Palermo to Copenhagen, people marched on the citadels of authority and demanded a greater say in their government. Lynn Hunt, The New York Review of Books, 14 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'citadel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of citadel was in 1542

Dictionary Entries Near citadel

Cite this Entry

“Citadel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


cit·​a·​del ˈsit-əd-ᵊl How to pronounce citadel (audio)
: a fortress that sits high above a city
: a strong fortress

More from Merriam-Webster on citadel

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