noun, often attributive
\ˈsi-tē \
plural cities

Definition of city 

1a : an inhabited place of greater size, population, or importance than a town or village We spent the weekend in the city.

b : an incorporated British town usually of major size or importance having the status of an episcopal see

c capitalized

(1) : the financial district of London

(2) : the influential financial interests of the British economy

d : a usually large or important municipality in the U.S. governed under a charter granted by the state

e : an incorporated municipal unit of the highest class in Canada

3 : the people of a city The city rebelled against the oppressive government.

4 slang : a thing, event, or situation that is strongly characterized by a specified quintessential feature or quality The movie was shoot-out city. Getting lost in the maze was panic city.

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Examples of city in a Sentence

major cities like London, Tokyo, and Rome The city is working to make the streets safer. a lawsuit against the city
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Recent Examples on the Web

For other Russian cities, though, the World Cup was a transformative experience. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Peeking Around Corners in the World Cup’s Provincial Cities," 14 July 2018 Into this crumbling, otherworldly dreamscape comes a group of outsiders from the big city, off the grid and out of their depth. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 After all, most of the other units in this building, the city’s first high-rise condominium complex, have only one front door. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: 4-bedroom Tarkington Tower condo for $550K means amenities plus view," 13 July 2018 While New York is traditionally a mecca of sorts for basketball, the city has not produced much NBA talent in recent years; Walker is arguably the most accomplished New York native currently playing in the league. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Why All-Star Kemba Walker’s New York ties should worry Charlotte Hornets," 13 July 2018 Like the Park, the concerts are free—a gift to the city’s people. The New Yorker, "In Central Park, Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Are a Gift to the City," 13 July 2018 Mason Allen, who complained to the city of Indian Rocks Beach, explained that allowing the practice to continue could encourage others to operate their own businesses on the beach. Tiffini Theisen,, "Florida man complains about beach yoga, tries to get class shut down," 13 July 2018 Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said a number of factors may play in to the city’s below-average commuter times. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin ranks 5th statewide in survey of shortest work commute times," 12 July 2018 After finishing the park, the foundation would turn it over to the city of Boise. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "Locals want input on Boise's bike park plan. The City Council could decide soon.," 10 July 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for city

Middle English citie large or small town, from Anglo-French cité, from Medieval Latin civitat-, civitas, from Latin, citizenship, state, city of Rome, from civis citizen — more at hind

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Statistics for city

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for city

The first known use of city was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for city



English Language Learners Definition of city

: a place where people live that is larger or more important than a town : an area where many people live and work

: the people in a city

the city : the government of a city


\ˈsi-tē \
plural cities

Kids Definition of city

1 : a place in which people live and work that is larger than a town

2 : the people of a city The whole city was excited about the football game.

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Comments on city

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to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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