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

Last month, the Australian government honored Olivia for her charitable contributions with the highest honor given to citizens. Marie Milano, Country Living, "Inside Olivia Newton-John's Heartbreaking Battle With Cancer," 16 Feb. 2019 In September, the Chinese government announced a 14 percent rise in the number of citizens living with HIV or AIDS, with 40,000 new cases reported in the second quarter of 2018. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Chinese Researcher Claims to Have Used CRISPR to Genetically Alter Twins," 26 Nov. 2018 Marketplace plans: These plans are available to U.S. citizens living in the States who are not incarcerated. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Heads Up: You Can Still Sign Up for Obamacare and Open Enrollment Is Going On Right Now," 14 Nov. 2018 These are some of the most upstanding citizens on campus. Matthew Choi, star-telegram, "Guns chill free speech, UT Austin professors will argue at federal appeals court," 11 July 2018 The bank, whose leader is nominated by the United States and has always been a U.S. citizen, has since shifted its focus from reconstruction to development, extensively in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Darlene Superville, The Seattle Times, "Trump to tap David Malpass, critic of World Bank, to lead it," 6 Feb. 2019 Toward the segment's end, an impassioned Whoopi began to talk about ways that American citizens can help struggling federal workers. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Watch 'The View' Star Whoopi Goldberg Totally School Abby Huntsman on Wednesday's Show," 24 Jan. 2019 Vazquez is a Mexican citizen and had been living in the U.S. illegally, prosecutors said. Fox News, "Fishing crew member charged with murder in attack at sea," 25 Sep. 2018 There is also one child in custody that the Department of Justice said could be a U.S. citizen. Maya Rhodan, Time, "For the Trump Administration, Reuniting Migrant Families Proves Easier Said Than Done," 12 July 2018

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

7 Mar 2019

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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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