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 Many of these dilapidated neighbourhoods are inhabited by China’s growing proportion of ageing citizens, who rely on traditional night pots and communal waste collection stations. Purva Dewoolkar, Quartz India, "India and China compete again—for whose toilet revolution is worse," 20 Nov. 2019 The boy is a U.S. citizen and will face drug smuggling charges, the federal agency said. Fox News, "California teen used remote-controlled car to smuggle meth across Mexico border, investigators say," 19 Nov. 2019 Hill, born in the United Kingdom, is a dual citizen. Anchorage Daily News, "Attacking witnesses is Trump’s core defense strategy in fighting impeachment," 19 Nov. 2019 The dead include three women and six children, all dual Mexican and U.S. citizens, killed early this month in a rural area an hour’s drive from the border at Arizona. ExpressNews.com, "Migrants hunkered down in crowded, filthy border encampment," 17 Nov. 2019 The officers — six accepted plea deals, two were convicted — stole money from citizens, lied on paperwork and bilked the city for unearned overtime pay. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "With Baltimore officials at odds on detective Sean Suiter’s death, family shouts up to City Hall," 15 Nov. 2019 The next day, Cook read a newspaper story about Japanese balloon bombs that urged citizens to report to police any suspicious-looking objects. Keith Matheny, Freep.com, "How the Japanese bombed Michigan during World War II," 14 Nov. 2019 Senator Sanders is not a citizen of the State of Israel. Pamela S. Nadell, Quartz, "A history of American antisemitism," 12 Nov. 2019 Senator Sanders is not a citizen of the State of Israel. Pamela S. Nadell, The Conversation, "Anti-Semitism in the US today is a variation on an old theme," 7 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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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

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Citizen.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/citizen?show=0&t=1359790111. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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