cit·​i·​zen·​ship | \ˈsi-tə-zən-ˌship \

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 department is being sued by 18 states, the District of Columbia and a number of advocacy groups that say asking residents about their citizenship status will suppress the response rate of immigrants and produce a census undercount. Robert Barnes, The Seattle Times, "Trump officials aggressively bypass appeals, seek relief from Supreme Court," 23 Oct. 2018 Harry and Meghan's child will have British citizenship because of its father, Associated Press reports. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Baby: Everything You Need to Know," 18 Oct. 2018 The military is booting out immigrant reservists and recruits who enlisted with the promise of a path to citizenship, according to a AP report. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "U.S. Army Is Discharging Immigrants Who Were Promised Citizenship," 6 July 2018 Second, provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who are already here and contributing to the economy. Martin Vassolo, miamiherald, "Florida Influencers: Protecting Dreamers is most pressing immigration issue of 2018," 2 July 2018 The path to citizenship was exhaustive and could last several years. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "Early immigrants to Indianapolis and their hard-won path to citizenship," 22 June 2018 Ten years after that day, an amnesty law, put into place by President Ronald Reagan’s administration, put me on a path to citizenship. Maria E. Andreu, Teen Vogue, "I Could Have Been Separated From My Mother While Crossing the Border Between the United States and Mexico," 18 June 2018 This bill aimed to address both a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and funding for the border wall. CNN, "How often have Senate Democrats from Trump country voted with Republicans?," 15 June 2018 The other, which has not been finalized, is believed to be a compromise measure that might offer an eventual path to citizenship. Kevin Diaz, San Antonio Express-News, "Moderate Republicans fail in bid to protect Dreamers," 13 June 2018

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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Statistics for citizenship

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for citizenship

The first known use of citizenship was in 1611

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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 \

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).


an inexhaustible supply or amount

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