cit·​i·​zen·​ship | \ ˈsi-tə-zən-ˌship How to pronounce citizenship (audio) also -sən- \

Definition of citizenship

1 : the status of being a citizen He was granted U.S. citizenship.
2a : membership in a community (such as a college)
b : the quality of an individual's response to membership in a community The students are learning the value of good citizenship.

Examples of citizenship in a Sentence

She applied for Polish citizenship. He was granted U.S. citizenship. The students are learning the value of good citizenship.
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Recent Examples on the Web The court decided no Black person, free or slave, could claim US citizenship. Jeneé Osterheldt,, "Trump’s Capitol Hill terrorists affirmed the truth: America should not be restored. It must be rebuilt," 6 Jan. 2021 Reports that Stanley Johnson, the father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is seeking to keep a foot in Europe by taking up French citizenship made headlines just as his son lead Britain's split Thursday from the EU. Alex Turnbull, ajc, "France praises nationality bid by British leader's dad," 1 Jan. 2021 But instant citizenship is an affront to all Americans. WSJ, "No Automatic Citizenship for Working Illegal Aliens," 31 Dec. 2020 The prime minister then handed Mr. Pollard, who was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995 while in prison, an Israeli identification card. New York Times, "Jonathan Pollard, Spy for Israel, Gets Hero’s Welcome From Netanyahu: ‘You’re Home’," 30 Dec. 2020 His mother was Dutch, and his father was a Jewish businessman of Middle Eastern descent who earned British citizenship while fighting for the Allies in World War I. After his father died, his mother married a man with the last name Blake. Washington Post, "George Blake, notorious Cold War double agent who helped Soviets, dies at 98," 26 Dec. 2020 One of our discoveries was especially startling: Jurisdictions with the finest Covid-19 responses often emphasized solidarity and democratic citizenship in their public health messaging. Ian Beacock, The New Republic, "Simply Talking About the Pandemic the Right Way Can Help Rebuild American Democracy," 24 Dec. 2020 Manufacturing new demographic realities on the ground by granting citizenship has been used to maintain influence in the internal affairs in other post-Soviet nations. Ivan Sascha Sheehan, National Review, "Russia’s New Territory," 23 Dec. 2020 Amazon has routinely received a perfect 100 score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates companies for workplace protections, inclusive benefits and responsible corporate citizenship. NBC News, "Dozens of anti-gay groups are making money off Amazon's charity platform," 23 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'citizenship.' 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 citizenship

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for citizenship

see citizen

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Time Traveler for citizenship

Time Traveler

The first known use of citizenship was in 1611

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Statistics for citizenship

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Citizenship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce citizenship (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of citizenship

: the fact or status of being a citizen of a particular place
: the qualities that a person is expected to have as a responsible member of a community


cit·​i·​zen·​ship | \ ˈsi-tə-zən-ˌship How to pronounce citizenship (audio) \

Kids Definition of citizenship

1 : the state of being a citizen He was granted citizenship in the United States.
2 : the behavior expected of a person as a member of a community good citizenship



Legal Definition of citizenship

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

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Comments on citizenship

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