cit·a·del | \ˈsi-tə-dᵊl, -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 the former Incan capital of Cuzco, Peru, a few thousand mainly foreign tourists paid upward of $160 for a grandstand seat to watch hundreds of actors re-enact a llama sacrifice at an ancient citadel. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Incan festival pays homage to sun across Andes," 25 June 2018 But with the Carters and a dance troupe taking over the Louvre’s palatial spaces, the video also places an unapologetic, physical black presence in a citadel of European culture. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z: The State of the Union Is Strong," 17 June 2018 Below the citadel, the ruins stretch to the horizon. The Economist, "How a victorious Bashar al-Assad is changing Syria," 28 June 2018 Does a four-year stint at a citadel of higher learning teach us to think, rather than just to get and spend? James Atlas, Town & Country, "Is a College Education Even Worth It Anymore?," 10 July 2018 To mark national day on April 17th, the ancient citadel of Aleppo hosted a festival for the first time since the war began. The Economist, "How a victorious Bashar al-Assad is changing Syria," 28 June 2018 Maheshwar Low-Key and LocalDavid rented out the entire Ahilya Fort, a centuries-old citadel turned hotel overlooking the holy Narmada River. Skye Mcalpine, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Ultimate Culinary Tour of India," 12 June 2018 Venus now opens inside the Mercury on the hot Southport Corridor, adding a new theatrical venue to a block that already boasts the Music Box Theatre, surely the most beloved film citadel in the city. Chris Jones,, "Venus now has 'Company,' as Southport Corridor venue opens with Sondheim musical," 25 Apr. 2018 However, even under authoritarian constraints, civil society was seen as an Islamist citadel. Sean Yom, Washington Post, "Islamists are losing support in Jordan," 17 May 2018

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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Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for citadel

The first known use of citadel was in 1542

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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, -ˌdel\

Kids Definition of citadel

: a fortress that sits high above a city

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Comments on citadel

What made you want to look up citadel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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