citizen

noun
cit·​i·​zen | \ ˈsi-tə-zən How to pronounce citizen (audio) also -sən \

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 state
b : 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.

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Other Words from citizen

citizenly \ ˈsi-​tə-​zən-​lē How to pronounce citizenly (audio) also  -​sən-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for citizen

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for citizen

citizen, subject, national mean a person owing allegiance to and entitled to the protection of a sovereign state. citizen is preferred for one owing allegiance to a state in which sovereign power is retained by the people and sharing in the political rights of those people. the rights of a free citizen subject implies allegiance to a personal sovereign such as a monarch. the king's subjects national designates one who may claim the protection of a state and applies especially to one living or traveling outside that state. American nationals working in the Middle East

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 on the Web As a citizen, watching a resolute obliteration of the past in progress, I am haunted by gaping fish. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "The Big Tech hearing was a good day for democracy," 30 July 2020 Asked if any laws were broken, investigators said that as a US citizen, Baltser must comply with US sanctions. Matt Egan, CNN, "The art world has a money laundering problem," 29 July 2020 Avery Pope asked if there is any citizen oversight review of complaints involving police misconduct. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Cleveland Heights police chief explains ongoing departmental reforms at youth forum," 13 July 2020 The six-member citizen review panel would provide feedback on the department's review of serious discipline matters and use-of-force incidents. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, "Pima County sheriff vows to change department, announces reforms," 10 July 2020 Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified before Congress that as a private citizen, Trump routinely overstated or understated his holdings for financial gain. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court blocks House Democrats from access to Trump's financial records for now," 9 July 2020 Several Common Council members have introduced an ordinance that would create a citizen review board that would have the authority to investigate complaints against officers. Christian Sheckler, The Indianapolis Star, "South Bend police has no mandatory de-escalation training, but 7 'combat shoots' each year," 9 July 2020 The man, later identified as a 41-year-old Mexican citizen, was clinging to the top of the wall when first responders arrived on the scene. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Smugglers leave man stranded atop southern border's 30-foot wall," 8 July 2020 The desire to be treated with respect and enjoy equal recognition as a fellow citizen and human being goes deeper than dollars and cents. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Aftershocks of the ‘Dream Deferred’," 16 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of citizen

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for citizen

Middle English citizein, from Anglo-French citezein, alteration of citeien, from cité city

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Time Traveler for citizen

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for citizen

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Citizen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/citizen. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for citizen

citizen

noun
How to pronounce citizen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of citizen

: 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

noun
cit·​i·​zen | \ ˈsi-tə-zən How to pronounce citizen (audio) \

Kids Definition of citizen

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

citizen

noun
cit·​i·​zen

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

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.

History and Etymology for citizen

Anglo-French citezein, alteration of Old French citeien, from cité city

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More from Merriam-Webster on citizen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for citizen

Spanish Central: Translation of citizen

Nglish: Translation of citizen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of citizen for Arabic Speakers

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