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

freeman, national, subject

Antonyms

alien, noncitizen

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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

In Meghan's case, the time is a bit shorter because spouses of UK citizens can apply after 3 years of residence in the country. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Is Baby Sussex a Dual Citizen?," 6 May 2019 One year ago, the Hawaiian volcano Kīlauea began erupting and continued for several months, eventually destroying hundreds of homes, displacing thousands of citizens, closing national parks, creating new islands, and changing Hawaii's coastline. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Turns Out You Can Fall 70 Feet Into Kīlauea Volcano and Survive," 3 May 2019 Instead of citizens, the corporations have shareholders. Rebecca Nagle, Teen Vogue, "The Violence Against Women Act Doesn't Include the Majority of Alaska Native Women," 29 Nov. 2018 In a letter announcing the group’s mission last month, organizers promised that hundreds of concerned citizens—scientists and academics, students, parents, artists, teachers, lawyers—had pledged to risk arrest in nonviolent direct action. Matt Stuart, Vogue, "“Sorry, We Won’t Be Long”: Extinction Rebellion Shuts Down London to Demand Climate Action," 22 Nov. 2018 Even many critics of Snowden admit that the NSA's Telephone Records Program, conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, was a major intrusion into the privacy of American citizens and was an abuse of the FISC orders. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "The Snowden Legacy, part one: What’s changed, really?," 21 Nov. 2018 Along with protests from actual senators, the hearings saw a number of citizens protesting Kavanaugh's nomination. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Must-See Protest Photos from Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings," 4 Sep. 2018 Learn more about the board’s mission and list of other citizens serving at www.norcrossga.net under the government tab. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Norcross Tree Board seeking volunteers," 12 July 2018 But its citizens still embrace the old-fashioned system in their daily lives because the government has done little to get people to change over to the Western style. Hyung-jin Kim, The Seattle Times, "S. Korean babies born Dec. 31 become 2-year-olds next day," 13 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for citizen

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for citizen

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

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More Definitions for citizen

citizen

noun

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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