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 The amendment has been in the works in Congress since the 1920s and picked up steam during the civil rights era. Ivan Pereira, ABC News, "House passes resolution that would dissolve Equal Rights Amendment deadline," 13 Feb. 2020 At the end of her book, Peggy Wallace Kennedy describes crossing over the Edmond Pettus Bridge with civil rights icon John Lewis, hand in hand. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, "Daughter’s book gives insight into ‘growing up Wallace’," 12 Feb. 2020 The group complained to Homeland Security’s office of civil rights, according to court papers, and a month later, the agency retaliated again, by ending the hotline in all but eight locations in Florida. SFChronicle.com, "Federal judge orders ICE to reinstate national immigration hotline for reporting problems," 12 Feb. 2020 Wilson and Kelling were open about the fact that civil rights violations and targeting of the vulnerable was a likely outcome of implementing their theory. Victor Ray, Washington Post, "Mike Bloomberg ignored early evidence that ‘stop-and-frisk’ could be racially biased," 12 Feb. 2020 Her parents, in a lawsuit against the University of Utah, said the school violated the civil rights law by not investigating more than 20 reports of their daughter’s abuse, which were brought to the attention of at least six staff members. New York Times, "New Campus Sexual Misconduct Rules Will Tackle Dating Violence," 10 Feb. 2020 Buttigieg's statement fearing citizens being asked to choose between supporting civil rights for minorities or supporting police was criticized by many, including South Bend Common Council members, at the time. Cory Havens, Indianapolis Star, "The CIA, abused dogs and 'Breathe Easy': Buttigieg draws his share of rumors, conspiracies," 10 Feb. 2020 Both sides were accused of war crimes during the subsequent struggle for power, with reports of the Sandinistas massacring civilians and routinely violating the civil rights of Nicaraguans. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Bernie Sanders once compared himself favorably to Nicaraguan strongman Daniel Ortega," 8 Feb. 2020 Lisa Jordan, director of the clinic, co-wrote the civil rights petition to the EPA on behalf of Convent residents two decades ago. Sara Sneath, ProPublica, "How Louisiana Lawmakers Stop Residents’ Efforts to Fight Big Oil and Gas," 7 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of civil rights

circa 1614, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for civil rights

see civil

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about civil rights

Time Traveler for civil rights

Time Traveler

The first known use of civil rights was circa 1614

See more words from the same year

Statistics for civil rights

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Civil rights.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/civil%20rights. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for civil rights

civil rights

noun

English Language Learners Definition of civil rights

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on civil rights

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with civil rights

Spanish Central: Translation of civil rights

Nglish: Translation of civil rights for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about civil rights

Comments on civil rights

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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