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

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 One upside to the Brexit distraction is the U.K.’s civil service hasn’t been flooded with new policy ideas by zealous ministers, says Dave Penman, the general secretary of the FDA, a trade union that represents civil servants. Max Colchester, WSJ, "In the U.K., Endless Brexit Squabbles Are Snarling Everything Else," 5 Nov. 2018 Last October, a retired civil service worker bought a three-bedroom house in Richmond Hill, Ga., for about $250,000, says Andi DeFelice, who represented the buyer as a broker at Exclusive Buyer’s Realty. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Buying a home? Sellers may use cameras, microphones to spy on house hunters," 30 Apr. 2018 At Fort Hood, more than 10,400 civilians — including contractors as well as civil service workers — help support 35,611 military personnel. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas cities eye possible government shutdown with anger, frustration," 17 Jan. 2018 The paper said Britain's lower House of Commons would likely relocate to a venue in Whitehall, a central London street that houses much of the British civil service. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "British MPs vote to vacate Houses of Parliament for much-needed repairs," 1 Feb. 2018 Since that debate in the early 2000s, the party has welcomed capitalists to join its ranks, experimented with political reforms to professionalize the civil service and allowed an expansion of civil society—eroding the party’s dominance. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "Xi Capitalizes on Marx’s Legacy to Rally China Around Communist Party," 7 May 2018 LeBlanc asked civil service to consider a 10 percent boost from the new minimum salary for prison guards, from about 12.71 per hour to $13.98 per hour. Julia O'donoghue,, "Louisiana lawmaker on prison guards: 'You don't need a bunch of ladies guarding men'," 19 Mar. 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

23 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for civil service

The first known use of civil service was circa 1770

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More Definitions for civil service

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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