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 Despite the addition of a Whole Foods and a citadel of theme-park capitalism, the Grove, across the street, this mini-mall remains largely untouched by time. Molly Lambert, Los Angeles Times, "At the Britney Spears pop-up museum (yes, museum), a vacant Kmart becomes a selfie shrine," 2 Feb. 2020 Using knives or radiation on this citadel of consciousness carries tremendous risks. Scientific American, "The Power of Spheres," 25 Dec. 2019 The feminist resurgence of the 2000s that has affected every sphere of American life, both in public office and in the streets, has seeped into the movie industry, long a citadel of male power. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Men Are in Trouble and Hollywood Wants to Help," 20 Dec. 2019 One of the town’s best-known attractions, a Roman citadel, will remain visible above the waterline. Washington Post, "A Turkish dam is about to flood one of the oldest continuously settled places on Earth," 27 Nov. 2019 Farther up, an ancient citadel, home to Byzantine ruins, an Ayyubid mosque and rows of ancient tombstones, watches over the site from a steep hilltop. The Economist, "A dam threatens one of the world’s oldest settlements," 26 Sep. 2019 Beautiful Saint-Malo, about an hour by car from Mont Saint-Michel, is an ancient walled citadel with wide ramparts perfect for strolling. Debra Bruno, Washington Post, "See the light: Instead of joining the throngs on Mont Saint-Michel, go to Saint-Malo," 8 Aug. 2019 The PolyU campus, which sits beside the harbor tunnel and a Chinese military barracks, is one of several that young protesters had occupied days earlier, turning them into quasimilitarized citadels., "Clashes on Hong Kong university campus elevate tensions - The Boston Globe," 18 Nov. 2019 The Incan citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru is known for its marvelous stonework. Sid Perkins, Science | AAAS, "Machu Picchu was hit by strong earthquakes during construction," 22 Oct. 2019

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

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Citadel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for citadel


How to pronounce citadel (audio)

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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