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 New Delhi and cities across India have seen regular protests since a controversial citizenship law was passed last month that provides a path to naturalization for religious minorities from several neighboring countries but excludes Muslims. Washington Post, "Police violently end student protest in central New Delhi," 9 Jan. 2020 Thousands have already been detained in protests against the citizenship laws across the nation, with police responding on occasion with deadly force. Joseph Allchin, The New York Review of Books, "Why Hindu Nationalists Trialed India’s Citizenship Law in Assam," 6 Jan. 2020 The incident comes at a moment of high political tension in India, where hundreds of thousands of people — including many students — have participated in protests against a controversial citizenship law passed last month. Niha Masih,, "Masked assailants attack students at prestigious Indian university in New Delhi," 6 Jan. 2020 In an unprecedented move, the Trump administration granted a path to citizenship for about 4,000 Liberians living legally in the United States on humanitarian programs. Chidinma Irene Nwoye, Quartz Africa, "A surprise provision in a Trump defense bill has granted a path to citizenship for 4,000 Liberians," 3 Jan. 2020 The Indian government has also recently shut down the internet in other parts of the country where large protests have erupted against a controversial new citizenship law. Daniel Wolfe, Quartz, "Internet shutdowns are an increasingly popular means of government suppression," 24 Dec. 2019 The law was also imposed elsewhere in India to thwart an expanding protest movement demanding the revocation of the citizenship law. NBC News, "23 dead as protests grow against India citizenship law," 22 Dec. 2019 On immigration, Buttigieg said he is committed to financially compensating children who have been separated from their families at the border with Mexico and to fast-tracking those children to citizenship. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Takeaways from Pete Buttigieg's performance at the Democratic debate," 20 Dec. 2019 Barrientos’ case laid bare the tension between state and federal marijuana laws, and an administration focused on tightening immigration and the pathway to citizenship. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Working in Colorado’s cannabis industry could prevent you from becoming a U.S. citizen. A new bill in Washington could change that.," 20 Dec. 2019

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

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Citizenship.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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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

What made you want to look up citizenship? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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