ci·​ta·​tion | \ sī-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce citation (audio) \

Definition of citation

1 : an official summons to appear (as before a court)
2a : an act of quoting especially : the citing of a previously settled case at law
b : excerpt, quotation His homily included several biblical citations.
3 : mention: such as
a : a formal statement of the achievements of a person receiving an academic honor
b : specific reference in a military dispatch to meritorious performance of duty a citation for bravery

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Other Words from citation

citational \ sī-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce citation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for citation

encomium, eulogy, panegyric, tribute, citation mean a formal expression of praise. encomium implies enthusiasm and warmth in praising a person or a thing. received encomiums from literary critics eulogy applies to a prepared speech or writing extolling the virtues and services of a person. delivered the eulogy at the funeral service panegyric suggests an elaborate often poetic compliment. her lyrical memoir was a panegyric to her mentor tribute implies deeply felt praise conveyed either through words or through a significant act. the concert was a musical tribute to the early jazz masters citation applies to the formal praise of a person offered in a military dispatch or in awarding an honorary degree. earned a citation for bravery

Examples of citation in a Sentence

He was issued a citation. He received a citation for reckless driving. gave her a citation for bravery
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Recent Examples on the Web In a citation written Friday, an investigator with the Contractors’ License & Registration Board said that property records show Silva bought an undeveloped piece of land at 116 Canning St. in April 2018., 3 Sep. 2021 Officials with Kleefisch and the state Democratic Party declined comment on McCoshen's disorderly conduct citation, which has not previously been reported. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 Sep. 2021 The girlfriend escaped later in the day, according to the citation, which says the defendants kept Lind’s body in a shed for two or three days before dumping it in an alley behind Lentz Avenue in the South End, where police found the corpse. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 17 July 2021 In some ways, the citation for Frazier mirrors the 2020 announcement that the Pulitzer board would honor Ida B. Wells-Barnett by awarding $50,000 to still-unnamed recipients. Mikki Kendall, CNN, 12 June 2021 The citation, issued Monday, also says Amazon failed to record 217 COVID-19 infections among employees from April to October 2020. Suhauna Hussain Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2021 If businesses continue to not comply, as has been the case in some instances in Region 4, state or local law enforcement can issue the business a misdemeanor citation, similar to enforcing indoor smoking laws. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, 2 Nov. 2020 In his most damaging bit of carelessness, Mr. Biden lifted chunks of a law review article without proper citation — a blemish that damaged his 1988 presidential campaign amid other accusations of plagiarism at the time. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2020 Man issued a criminal citation, possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana. Allana Haynes,, 14 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'citation.' 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 citation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for citation

see cite

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Time Traveler for citation

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The first known use of citation was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near citation



citation form

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Citation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for citation



English Language Learners Definition of citation

: an official order to appear before a court of law : summons
: a formal public statement that praises a person for doing something good or brave
: a line or short section taken from a piece of writing or a speech


ci·​ta·​tion | \ sī-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce citation (audio) \

Kids Definition of citation

1 : an official order to appear in court
2 : an act or instance of quoting
3 : quotation
4 : a formal public statement praising a person for doing something good a citation for bravery


ci·​ta·​tion | \ sī-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce citation (audio) \

Legal Definition of citation

1 : a writ giving notice to a person to appear in court: as
a : a process served upon an interested party in a probate proceeding
b : a notice to a person that he or she is charged with a petty offense (as a traffic violation) also : the document embodying the notice

Note: Citations are issued in minor criminal cases as an alternative to arrest. Often a person may consent in writing to the penalty specified on the citation and forgo an appearance in court.

2 : the citing of a previously decided case or recognized legal authority as support for an argument also : the caption used for referring to such a case or authority especially as published in a reporter

Other Words from citation

citational \ -​shə-​nəl How to pronounce citation (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on citation

Nglish: Translation of citation for Spanish Speakers

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


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