noun, often attributive
\ ˈsi-tē How to pronounce city (audio) \
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 The site also has locations for satellite voting centers and secure drop boxes throughout the city. Arn Tellem, Detroit Free Press, "Tellem: Like the Pistons in 2004, it's time for us to 'Go to Work' — at the ballot box," 23 Oct. 2020 There is a whole new development on 70th Street, and the city put up four new new murals. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Allis deli owner takes peanut butter and jelly to a 'higher form'," 23 Oct. 2020 Long-term projects like these could speed up the city’s economic recovery from the coronavirus, said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. Liz Hardaway,, "Workers tearing down old Bexar County jail in downtown San Antonio to make way for new UTSA business school," 23 Oct. 2020 The current phase of the renovation will cost the city about $20,000 Kleem said. Rich Heileman, cleveland, "New life ahead for Berea’s Old Stone House: Around The Town," 23 Oct. 2020 The council initially called to completely abolish the city's police department, but after hearing back from residents and working with other local leaders, the proposal was delayed. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, "Minneapolis residents ask city council to reduce gun violence," 23 Oct. 2020 Trump’s visit to Pensacola is his third to the largest city within the Florida Panhandle in the past three years. al, "‘Red meat' and ‘fire up the base': What to expect from President Trump during Pensacola visit," 23 Oct. 2020 Among many other civic roles, Mr. Cook also helped lead Rebuild L.A., an organization formed to help the city recover from riots in 1992. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Arco CEO Danced on TV to Aid Los Angeles Library," 23 Oct. 2020 Before baseball’s Blue Jays settled on Buffalo as their 2020 home, the city of Pittsburgh declined to share PNC Park and Baltimore team doctors expressed concerns about the health issues arising from two teams occupying Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "For millionaire Junior Bridgeman, 'time has passed' to bring NBA to Louisville," 23 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for city

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for city

Last Updated

27 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“City.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for city


How to pronounce city (audio)

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 government of a city


\ ˈsi-tē How to pronounce city (audio) \
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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