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

The concave surface would pick up the drone of airship engines before the human ear could, giving time for air and civil defense forces to prepare for the zeppelin's arrival. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Huge Concrete “Mirrors” That Helped the U.K. Predict Air Raids During World War I," 10 Jan. 2019 The civil defense has more than 660 open missing-persons files—many of them including entire families, putting the actual number of missing in the thousands. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "To Rebuild a Syrian City, Men First Dig Up and Rebury the Dead," 26 Oct. 2018 Mexico State civil defense said 17 people died at the scene and seven died later at hospitals. Time, "Fireworks Explosion Kills 24 People, Injures 49 Near Mexico City," 6 July 2018 Iraq's civil defense force was able to contain the fire and stop it from spreading to the main warehouse housing the majority of the ballots, according to General Saad Maan, spokesman for Iraq's Interior Ministry. Marilia Brocchetto, CNN, "Fire breaks out at Baghdad warehouse storing ballot boxes for Iraq's election recount," 10 June 2018 Normally the siren was set off by remote control from Los Angeles via radio impulse at 10 a.m. on the last Friday of every month during the Cold War era as a test of the countywide civil defense warning system. Carol Cormaci,, "La Cañada History: Sun owner pays annual summer tribute to blossoming yuccas by featuring them on cover," 11 June 2018 First responders — police, fire, civil defense and the National Guard — are focused on evacuations and keeping residents safe. New York Times, "Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Wants Tourists to Stay Away from Volcano," 5 June 2018 Hawaii County civil defense officials said two new fissures opened overnight, bringing the total to nine that opened in the neighborhood since Thursday. CBS News, "Hawaii's Kilauea volcano eruption destroys at least 26 homes," 6 May 2018 But the church’s plans to build a community for Haitians hit a roadblock when civil defense officials said there was a flood risk and barred further construction. Washington Post, "Tijuana’s ‘Little Haiti’ stalled but migrants planting roots," 11 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of civil defense

1939, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for civil defense

Last Updated

27 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for civil defense

The first known use of civil defense was in 1939

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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)

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