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 citational (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

Keller, a combat controller in the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, earned the award Aug. 16, 2017, while on a mission in Nangarhar Province, which is in eastern Afghanistan, according to his citation. Michael Clevenger, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky national guardsman earns award second only to Medal of Honor," 13 Sep. 2019 While police said Newlon was cited for battery on an officer and resisting arrest and placed on an involuntary mental health hold, no record of the citation could be found in the Santa Clara County court records system. Robert Salonga, The Mercury News, "Los Gatos police release video of controversial ex-officer’s recent use of force," 16 Aug. 2019 Sergeant Black was recognized for killing several enemy fighters and for firing and maneuvering across open ground under intense fire in an effort to help protect his team, according to his citation. New York Times, "Special Forces Sergeant, Killed in Niger Ambush, Is Awarded a Silver Star," 14 Aug. 2019 Hermann was convicted in August 2017 of the citation in Tuscaloosa Municipal Court and unsuccessfully appealed to Tuscaloosa Circuit Court, which instituted the $250 fine. Howard Koplowitz |,, "Alabama appeals court sides with pro-life activist who challenged $250 ticket from Tuscaloosa cop," 12 July 2019 Residents don't have to wait to address their traffic citations. James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee judges say helping people earn back their driver licenses could cut down on reckless driving," 7 June 2019 Frustrated with their stonewalling, House Democrats are set to vote next week on a contempt citation for Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn for refusing to comply. Luke Johnson, Fortune, "House Democrats Have a Decision to Make—Impeach Trump or Not?," 6 June 2019 His citations and quotations come with a density that approaches parody. Jacob Bacharach, The New Republic, "David Brooks’s Moral Journey," 5 June 2019 No further information on citations or the condition of the drivers was available at the time of the report. Brian Lisik/special To,, "Driver runs stop sign, hits another car: Hinckley Police Blotter," 16 Apr. 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 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

US : 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 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 citational (audio) \ adjective

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