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 citizen (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 Civility, civilization, civic, civil — all these words have their root in the Latin civis, citizen. Brad Miner, National Review, "The Decline of American Manners," 9 May 2021 In fact, America’s richest billionaires get divorced at similar rates to the average citizen, Forbes found after examining the relationships of the 50 richest people in the United States. Chase Peterson-withorn, Forbes, "For Richer And Richest: Inside The Billion-Dollar Marriages, Open Relationships And Bitter Divorces Of The Forbes 400," 9 May 2021 Another story comes from Laurie Arnold, an associate professor at Gonzaga University, and a Colville citizen. Mark Trahant, Star Tribune, "50 years ago, election ushered in new era for US tribes," 8 May 2021 The video that was brought to police’s attention was made by a 19-year-old citizen, acting independently, who posed as a 15-year-old and uploaded alleged correspondence between the two on social media, police said. Sarah Freishtat, chicagotribune.com, "Former Joliet Catholic teacher accused of grooming didn’t ‘fulfill employment requirements,’ Joliet diocese says," 8 May 2021 Therefore the child, a U.S. citizen, was put in the custody of the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families, which sent him to live with a foster family. Los Angeles Times, "Separated at the U.S.-Canada border: For a father and son, 90 miles is a distance too far," 7 May 2021 The task force includes members of the judiciary, legislators, law enforcement, prosecutors, the Public Advocate, local officials, a representative of the NAACP and citizen members. Mallika Kallingal And Rebekah Riess, CNN, "Kentucky attorney general forms task force to review state's search warrant process," 7 May 2021 Investigators say Antonio Hurtado, a U.S. citizen, was piloting the boat, and he was arrested on suspicion of bringing in or harboring undocumented immigrants and assaulting an officer, according to the affidavit. Arkansas Online, "Authorities: Man who piloted boat that crashed hit U.S. agent," 5 May 2021 The resolution was a response to the disappearance and death of Hanna Harris, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Shondiin Silversmith, The Arizona Republic, "May 5 is 'Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day.' Here's what you need to know," 5 May 2021

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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Citizen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/citizen. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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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