civil rights

plural noun

Definition of civil rights

: the nonpolitical rights of a citizen especially : the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution and by acts of Congress was charged with violating the victim's civil rights

Examples of civil rights in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the post-Civil War era statute — one of the few laws that enables plaintiffs to accuse fellow citizens, rather than the government, of depriving them of their civil rights — has been unearthed in civil litigation more than once this year. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, 19 Nov. 2021 The supreme court's majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, said Ewing never lost his civil rights under state law. Laura A. Bischoff, The Enquirer, 19 Nov. 2021 Four former Oklahoma County Detention Center inmates allege their civil rights were violated during their time inside the jail in a federal lawsuit Tuesday. Fox News, 4 Nov. 2021 Cornelio struck back on Friday, filing his own suit for defamation and violation of his civil rights., 3 Nov. 2021 Marroquin’s lawsuit also alleges the district violated the Texas open meetings law, and her civil rights. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Oct. 2021 The lawsuit invokes a post-Civil War federal law from 1871 designed to prevent the Ku Klux Klan from denying Black Americans their civil rights that allows individuals to sue when they are injured by conspiracies. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, 25 Oct. 2021 Bryant and other families of the crash victims filed lawsuits last fall seeking undisclosed damages for emotional distress and a violation of their civil rights and privacy. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2021 Meade already had his voting rights restored with the passing of Amendment 4, but his civil rights still were left up to restoration by a Clemency Board. Chris Hays,, 14 Oct. 2021

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

circa 1614, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for civil rights

see civil

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Time Traveler for civil rights

Time Traveler

The first known use of civil rights was circa 1614

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Dictionary Entries Near civil rights

civil process

civil rights

Civil Rights Movement

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Statistics for civil rights

Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Civil rights.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for civil rights

civil rights


English Language Learners Definition of civil rights

: the rights that every person should have regardless of his or her sex, race, or religion

More from Merriam-Webster on civil rights

Nglish: Translation of civil rights for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about civil rights


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