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 The project will launch in December with an exploration of where citizens stand on the need for common ground and its role in our democracy. Staff, USA TODAY, "USA TODAY NETWORK and Public Agenda to Explore the ‘Hidden Common Ground’ Among Citizens Leading to the 2020 Election," 12 Nov. 2019 Military servicemen and women are eligible to become U.S. citizens under special provisions of the the Immigration and Nationality Act. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, "First service members, then citizens: Naturalization ceremony, other Baltimore events honor Veterans Day," 11 Nov. 2019 Civil War service by former slaves had far-reaching consequences for popular views of African Americans as capable and deserving citizens, a process that would be repeated in the Second World War. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "America’s Veterans, Then and Now," 11 Nov. 2019 State law enforcement officers — a category that includes judicial marshals and bail commissioners — once cooperated routinely with federal agents seeking to detain and eventually deport non-citizens in the country illegally. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "Immigration agents, activists and new laws collide in a Connecticut courthouse confrontation," 11 Nov. 2019 The prosecutors and jurors are elected officials, not lawyers and ordinary citizens; nobody has ever spelled out precisely what constitutes an impeachable offence. The Economist, "The Ukraine affair The new politics of Donald Trump’s impeachment," 10 Nov. 2019 Lead safety advocates had pressed for local child care center protections that would require inspections and certification similar to rentals, and the provision was part of a citizen ballot initiative proposal. Rachel Dissell, cleveland, "Achieving uniform lead-safety rules for child care centers is complicated, advocates say," 10 Nov. 2019 Russian citizens with German ancestry who spoke no German were suddenly allowed passports, while second-generation Turks born and raised in Germany were not. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, "Germany Has Been Unified for 30 Years. Its Identity Still Is Not.," 9 Nov. 2019 At one point, 1,700 people a day sought refugee status by crossing from East to West Berlin, and about 3 million GDR citizens went to West Germany through the via West Berlin between 1949 and 1961. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Why the Berlin Wall rose—and how it fell," 8 Nov. 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

14 Nov 2019

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
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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