civil defense


Definition of civil defense

: the system of protective measures and emergency relief activities conducted by civilians in case of hostile attack, sabotage, or natural disaster

Examples of civil defense in a Sentence

She's in training to be part of the local civil defense. the head of civil defense
Recent Examples on the Web In Mexico, civil defense official Luís Alberto Vázquez said there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, but Hurricane Delta damaged home and buildings and knocked out electricity to parts of Cancun and Cozumel. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Delta smashes through Cancun, could gain Category 4 status before slamming Louisiana coast," 8 Oct. 2020 Mexico's civil defense agency said in a statement that four of the deaths blamed on Gamma, including two children, were in Chiapas, where a landslide on a mountainous slope buried their home. CBS News, "Tropical Storm Delta forms, likely to hit U.S. Gulf Coast as hurricane," 5 Oct. 2020 Only a matter of time before the Stanley Cup, the greatest trophy in sports, became as regular around here as civil defense sirens. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "How do you like Jim Nill now? The Stars are knocking on the door of a Stanley Cup and it’s no mystery why," 17 Sep. 2020 Policies intended to prevent the spread of the virus will be enforced by the Hawaii County Police Department, civil defense said. Staff And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Sweltering crowds throng to beaches for Labor Day weekend, despite pandemic worries," 8 Sep. 2020 The rubble from which the signal was detected was inspected shortly after the explosion by a French rescue team and Lebanese civil defense volunteers, the AP reported. Rachel Desantis,, "Rescuers in Beirut Detect Possible Signs of Life in Explosion Rubble 1 Month Later," 4 Sep. 2020 Two days after the explosion, a French rescue team and Lebanese civil defense volunteers had searched the same building, which had a bar on the ground floor., "Survivor Search Grips a Grieving Beirut a Month After Blast," 4 Sep. 2020 As Lebanese and foreign civil defense teams comb through Beirut’s rubble, no one here knows the true number of missing. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "After Beirut’s ruinous explosion, a family waits for a call that never comes," 13 Aug. 2020 David León, the man passing the cash, served until recently as civil defense director for Mr. López Obrador and was scheduled to take over Mexico's coronavirus vaccine and medical procurement efforts. Christopher Sherman, The Christian Science Monitor, "Is Mexico's messy corruption scandal a chance to turn the page?," 21 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civil defense.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of civil defense

1939, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about civil defense

Time Traveler for civil defense

Time Traveler

The first known use of civil defense was in 1939

See more words from the same year

Statistics for civil defense

Last Updated

11 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Civil defense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for civil defense

civil defense


English Language Learners Definition of civil defense

: a group of people who are not part of the military but are trained to protect and help people if an enemy attacks their country or if there is a natural disaster (such as a flood or earthquake)

More from Merriam-Webster on civil defense Encyclopedia article about civil defense

Comments on civil defense

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!