ci·ta·tion | \sī-ˈtā-shən \

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 \-shnəl, -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

Both Orlando and Orange County law enforcement agencies declined to provide statistics on arrests and citations, saying any information would only be available through a public records request. Kyle Arnold,, "Fireworks are illegal — but here's how Floridians get away with buying them," 3 July 2018 The House of Representatives seeks contempt citations(?) against the JusticeDepartment and the FBI for withholding key documents and an FBI witness which could shed light on surveillance of associates of Donald Trump. Ryan Teague Beckwith, Time, "Read the 191 Arguments President Trump Has Made Against the Mueller Investigation," 7 June 2018 This work comes through traffic stops and citations, in part. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "Motorcycle engines and blaring boomboxes keep Rivertown up at night," 5 June 2018 After Jimenez was ticketed, a Miami-Dade County judge in 2014 overturned the citation, pointing to a decision by the 4th District Court of Appeal in a similar case in the city of Hollywood. Wire Reports,, "Red-light cameras can stay, Florida Supreme Court rules," 3 May 2018 The Sheriff's Office did not issue Reinosa a citation on the day of the accident, but the Jefferson Parish district attorney's office later filed a bill of information charging Reinosa with negligent homicide on April 22, 2016. Michelle Hunter,, "Gretna man pleads guilty in fatal Terrytown car crash," 18 Apr. 2018 Check citations! Edit and correct inaccurate information! Jason Murdock, Newsweek, "YouTube Will Fight Spread of Conspiracy Videos With Links to Wikipedia," 14 Mar. 2018 In response to a lawsuit filed by a former NCAA athlete which argues that scholarship students who play sports are employees who should be paid, the NCAA has used a citation (Vanskike v. Peters) that relies on the 13th amendment for its argument. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: A Harvard MBA Will Not Get Black Women Into The C-Suite," 23 Feb. 2018 Inspectors flag potential hazards, investigate employee complaints, and document apparent violations, which can result in citations, fines and other penalties against employers. Suzy Khimm, NBC News, "Exclusive: Number of OSHA workplace safety inspectors declines under Trump," 8 Jan. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near citation





citation form



Statistics for citation

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for citation

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

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More Definitions for citation



English Language Learners Definition of citation

: an official order to appear before a court of law

: 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 \

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 \

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 \ adjective

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Comments on citation

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