civilian

noun
ci·​vil·​ian | \ sə-ˈvil-yən How to pronounce civilian (audio) also -ˈvi-yən\

Definition of civilian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a specialist in Roman or modern civil law
2a : one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force

civilian

adjective

Definition of civilian (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or made up of civilians civilian concerns/demands the civilian population civilian customers/casualties The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian honors in the United States.
b : having the status of a civilian a civilian pilot
2 : operated or controlled by civilians civilian industry : possessed by or vested in civilians civilian authority
3 : intended or suited for use or consumption by civilians civilian goods With twin 2,520-horsepower engines and up to 19 seats, the Sikorsky S-92 is among the world's most powerful civilian helicopters.— Josh Harkinson

Examples of civilian in a Sentence

Noun

The bomb injured 12 civilians.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No reported injuries to fire personnel or civilians. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Fire Just Broke Out at Coachella 2019 & the Footage Is Insane," 13 Apr. 2019 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are apparently out here stealing Instagram handles from civilians. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Allegedly Stole Their New Instagram Handle, and I'm Living for the Drama," 5 Apr. 2019 The United Nations said in a report that more civilians were killed in the war last year than in any year since records have been compiled. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Afghan War’s Civilian Toll Hit a Record in 2018, Says U.N.," 24 Feb. 2019 Sixty-hundred-and-fifty-five-thousand Iraqi civilians dead. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "What Really Happened on 'The View' Between Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O'Donnell," 27 Mar. 2019 Human rights groups like the ACLU say civilians — including children — have been killed during the strikes over the years, including during Obama’s tenure. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "The Trump Administration Is Waging a Drone War in Somalia With Increased Air Strikes," 12 Mar. 2019 Lord Varys sits in what looks like the crypts with civilians. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Just Dropped Its Official Season 8 Trailer and There's So Much to Take In," 5 Mar. 2019 The country has seen the largest protests since 2017, when 120 people died in clashes with national guardsmen and pro-government civilians who fired on the masked demonstrators in middle-class neighborhoods. Fabiola Sanchez, The Seattle Times, "Deadly crackdown stokes fear among protesters in Venezuela," 20 Feb. 2019 Authorities did not provide details on the civilians who were injured. Todd Richmond, BostonGlobe.com, "Firefighter killed in gas explosion, fire near Madison," 12 July 2018

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for civilian

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for civilian

The first known use of civilian was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for civilian

civilian

noun

English Language Learners Definition of civilian

: a person who is not a member of the military or of a police or firefighting force

civilian

noun
ci·​vil·​ian | \ sə-ˈvil-yən How to pronounce civilian (audio) \

Kids Definition of civilian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who is not a member of a military, police, or firefighting force

civilian

adjective

Kids Definition of civilian (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to people who are not members of a military, police, or firefighting force After serving in the army, he got a civilian job.

civilian

noun
ci·​vil·​ian

Legal Definition of civilian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law

civilian

adjective

Legal Definition of civilian (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to civil law as distinguished from common law

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More from Merriam-Webster on civilian

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with civilian

Spanish Central: Translation of civilian

Nglish: Translation of civilian for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of civilian for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about civilian

Comments on civilian

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