\ˈsīt \
cited; citing

Definition of cite 

transitive verb

1 : to call upon officially or authoritatively to appear (as before a court)

2 : to quote by way of example, authority, or proof cites several noteworthy authors

3a : to refer to especially : to mention formally in commendation or praise She was cited for bravery.

b : to name in a citation cited by the trustees for his work in public health

4 : to bring forward or call to another's attention especially as an example, proof, or precedent cited the weather as a reason for canceling the picnic cited several studies that support his theory

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Other Words from cite

citable \ˈsī-tə-bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for cite

summon, call, cite, convoke, convene, muster mean to demand the presence of. summon implies the exercise of authority. was summoned to answer charges call may be used less formally for summon. called the legislature into special session cite implies a summoning to court usually to answer a charge. cited for drunken driving convoke implies a summons to assemble for deliberative or legislative purposes. convoked a Vatican council convene is somewhat less formal than convoke. convened the students muster suggests a calling up of a number of things that form a group in order that they may be exhibited, displayed, or utilized as a whole. mustered the troops

Cite, Sight, and Site

The three homophones cite, sight, and site are occasionally confused by some people when used as nouns (sight and site) or as verbs (all three words). They needn’t cause trouble: with a little thought, most people who struggle with them can settle upon the correct choice.

Cite is most often encountered in the sense of “to name in a citation”; it may also mean “to mention as an example” or “to order to appear in a court of law.“

Most of the senses of sight are concerned with the act or action of seeing. A wonderful spectacle might be described as a sight, as might the general capacity to see anything (“my sight is not as good as it once was”).

Site is most often concerned with location; it is related to the verb situate "to locate" and situation "a position." A building site is the place where the building is, or will be, located. In contemporary English, site has increasingly been used as a shortened form of website, for the location of a specific page on the Internet.

If you connect citation with cite, eyesight with sight, and situate with site, you are unlikely to make an error.

Examples of cite in a Sentence

The article cites several experts on the subject. The museum had often been cited as an example of successful fund-raising. He cited evidence suggesting she was in the area when the crime was committed. She was cited for reckless driving.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The safety institute cited uncontrolled ventilation as a contributing factor in the deaths of at least eight firefighters in the last few years. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 Many Republicans who have come to embrace Medicaid expansion cite the work requirement as a reason. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 The judge on Friday cited that five-year limit as the key element to his dismissal. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "Judge Dismisses SEC Suit Against Former Och-Ziff Executives," 13 July 2018 Stewart, who represents Council District 1 on the board, cited Lansdowne High School as an example of a school that has excess capacity but, because of the physical condition of the school, may not be the best location to send more students. Cody Boteler,, "Possible fixes for Baltimore County high school overcrowding include new construction, 'aggressively' using space," 11 July 2018 Unlike previous generations, current 20-somethings don't have to go buy albums to find out about older acts when Florida Georgia Line sings about Alabama or Miranda Lambert cites Merle Haggard as her biggest influence. Tom Roland, Billboard, "Country's Roots Are Showing as New Releases Embrace Old-School Sounds," 11 July 2018 Trump cited national security concerns as a reason for imposing the tariffs, a justification that triggered outrage among U.S. allies while also angering some Republicans. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Senate takes step to push back on Trump over tariffs a day after China trade war escalates," 11 July 2018 Hill cited the memo's findings as part of his criticisms of the legislative investigation and Candelaria Reardon’s allegations. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "'I stand before you a condemned man,': AG Curtis Hill says he's been unfairly judged," 9 July 2018 Tri-City also cited a $5 million budget deficit for inpatient psychiatric services as a reason why closing its units is necessary. Paul Sisson,, "North County leaders say they fear impact of Tri-City psych unit closures," 4 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cite

Middle English, from Anglo-French citer to cite, summon, from Latin citare to put in motion, rouse, summon, from frequentative of ciēre to stir, move — more at -kinesis

Latin citare to rouse, call on, summon

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Statistics for cite

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cite

The first known use of cite was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for cite



English Language Learners Definition of cite

: to write or say the words of (a book, author, etc.)

: to mention (something) especially as an example or to support an idea or opinion

law : to order (someone) to appear before a court of law


\ˈsīt \
cited; citing

Kids Definition of cite

1 : to order to appear in court She was cited for reckless driving.

2 : to quote as an example, authority, or proof He cites several experts in his report.

3 : to refer to especially in praise The school was cited as a model for others.

\ˈsīt \
cited; citing

Legal Definition of cite 

1 : to demand the appearance of in court : serve with a citation had been cited for contempt you are hereby cited to show cause in the Probate Court

2 : to quote or refer to as a precedent or authority the plaintiff cites several cases for the proposition

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More from Merriam-Webster on cite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cite

Spanish Central: Translation of cite

Nglish: Translation of cite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cite

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


not any or not one

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