Definition of citizen
1 : an inhabitant of a city or town; especially : one entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman
2a : a member of a stateb : a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it She was an American citizen but lived most of her life abroad.
3 : a civilian as distinguished from a specialized servant of the state Soldiers were sent to protect the citizens.
citizenlyplay \-zən-lē also -sən-\ adjective
Examples of citizen in a Sentence
She was a United States citizen but lived most of her life abroad.
a group of Japanese citizens
Recent Examples of citizen from the Web
The building was secularized during the French Revolution and designated as a burial space for exceptional French citizens.
Our first amendment protects the press from things like violence, and we as American citizens should respect that even if the opinions of the press are not in line with our own.
In Maryland, about 20,000 immigrants become citizens each year.
White citizens, shocked by the sight of the vehicle, vowed revenge.
AAIM is a citizen activist group founded in 1982 by victims of drunken driving.
The president’s willingness to use Twitter to single out American citizens for personal attacks, threaten countries or companies and perpetuate falsehoods has undermined his ability to enact his agenda.
O-R3's robust surveillance capabilities will enhance the physical capabilities of the close eye the state regularly keeps on its own citizens.
While children-in-law and stepsiblings of American citizens are free to enter, the State Department explicitly refuses to cover cousins, fiancés, and even grandparents.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'citizen'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of citizen
Middle English citizein, from Anglo-French citezein, alteration of citeien, from cité city
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of citizen
CITIZEN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of citizen for English Language Learners
: a person who legally belongs to a country and has the rights and protection of that country
: a person who lives in a particular place
CITIZEN Defined for Kids
Definition of citizen for Students
1 : a person who lives in a particular place the citizens of Boston
2 : a person who legally belongs to, gives allegiance to, and has the rights and protections of a country
Legal Definition of citizen
1 : a native or naturalized individual who owes allegiance to a government (as of a state or nation) and is entitled to the enjoyment of governmental protection and to the exercise of civil rights — see also Scott v. Sandford — compare resident Editor's note: Under the Fourteenth Amendment, “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” A person born outside of the U.S. to parents who were born or naturalized in the U.S. is also a citizen of the U.S. A corporation is not considered a citizen for purposes of the privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A corporation is, however, deemed a citizen of the state in which it is incorporated or has its principal place of business for purposes of diversity jurisdiction.
2 : a resident of a town or state who is also a U.S. native or was naturalized in the U.S.
Origin and Etymology of citizen
Anglo-French citezein, alteration of Old French citeien, from cité city
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