civil service


Definition of civil service

: the administrative service of a government or international agency exclusive of the armed forces especially : one in which appointments are determined by competitive examination

Examples of civil service in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Chinese point to their superb civil service and mighty navy. Alan Greenspan, WSJ, "How to Fix the Great American Growth Machine," 12 Oct. 2018 The orders were just the latest steps designed to weaken unions, federal employee compensation and civil service protections. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, "Trump’s orders show unwavering attack on federal unions, employees," 29 May 2018 Other city department heads are non-civil service and serve at the pleasure of the city's chief administrator. Kim Chatelain,, "Tweak to term limit laws to be discussed by Mandeville council," 18 May 2018 New ministers were also appointed and a law passed establishing a powerful new anti-corruption body to oversee the party and civil service. Gillian Wong And Christopher Bodeen,, "Emboldened Xi Jinping vows to protect 'every inch' of China's territory in stark warning to Taiwan," 20 Mar. 2018 However, he was reinstated in 2015 after a civil service commission concluded the firing was too severe a punishment. David Pitt, Fox News, "2 black men sue Des Moines police, alleging racial profiling," 24 Aug. 2018 Sessions’s influence could even extend beyond the political appointee layer of the federal government, into the civil service itself. Dara Lind, Vox, "Jeff Sessions gave Trump the immigration crackdown he wanted," 7 Nov. 2018 In May, thousands of high-school students joined unionists and civil servants to protest Macron’s plan to cut 120,000 civil service jobs in addition to a reduction in benefits for France’s railway workers, who are unionized, public-sector employees. Jennifer Williams, Vox, "Embattled French President Macron announces concessions to quell weeks of violent protests," 11 Dec. 2018 The bumiputra have long been the beneficiaries of a system of racial preferences, including easier access to university, jobs in the civil service and government contracts, originally intended as temporary measures to combat their relative poverty. The Economist, "Malaysia’s government calls an election," 12 Apr. 2018

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

circa 1770, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for civil service

Last Updated

1 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for civil service

The first known use of civil service was circa 1770

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civil service


Kids Definition of civil service

: the branch of a government that takes care of the business of running the government and its programs but that does not include the legislature, the military, or the courts

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Comments on civil service

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


a strong desire or propensity

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