cit·​i·​zen·​ship ˈsi-tə-zən-ˌship How to pronounce citizenship (audio)
 also  -sən-
: the status of being a citizen
He was granted U.S. citizenship.
: membership in a community (such as a college)
: the quality of an individual's response to membership in a community
The students are learning the value of good citizenship.

Example Sentences

She applied for Polish citizenship. He was granted U.S. citizenship. The students are learning the value of good citizenship.
Recent Examples on the Web But May 9, President Joe Biden cracked open the door to deploying an untested legal strategy involving the amendment best known for granting citizenship to enslaved Black Americans following the Civil War. Politifact Staff Writer, Dallas News, 16 May 2023 Voting is mandatory and polls suggest that 90% of first-time voters, including 240,000 Syrian refugees who have been granted citizenship, will turn out. Fariba Nawa, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 May 2023 In his 71-page ruling, Payne wrote that many of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship are granted at the age of 18, including the right to vote, enlist in the military without parental permission and serve on a federal jury. Denise Lavoie, USA TODAY, 12 May 2023 Gurriel, who defected from Cuba with another brother, Yuli, in 2016, described the process of completing his citizenship test and interview. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 12 May 2023 But the soaring numbers imperiled hopes for immigration changes that would grant citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants who had lived here for decades. Toluse Olorunnipa, Washington Post, 10 May 2023 Cristian, 32, can’t vote because he was brought to the United States as a child from Mexico and received certain protections under an Obama-era program that does not offer a pathway to citizenship. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Sabrina Rodriguez, Colby Itkowitz, Meryl Kornfield, Dylan Wells, The Washington Post, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Apr. 2023 As an Iraq War veteran, Meza would be eligible for a special citizenship process, but for her criminal convictions. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 21 Apr. 2023 First, move out of the U.S. and renounce your citizenship. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, 21 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'citizenship.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see citizen

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of citizenship was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near citizenship

Cite this Entry

“Citizenship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


cit·​i·​zen·​ship ˈsit-ə-zən-ship How to pronounce citizenship (audio)
: possession of the rights and privileges of a citizen
: the quality of a person's response to membership in a community

Legal Definition


: the status of being a citizen
: the quality of an individual's behavior as a citizen
: domicile
used especially in federal diversity cases
see also diversity jurisdiction at jurisdiction

More from Merriam-Webster on citizenship

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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