den·​i·​zen ˈde-nə-zən How to pronounce denizen (audio)
: inhabitant
denizens of the forest
government : a person admitted to residence in a foreign country
especially : an alien (see alien entry 2 sense 1b) admitted to rights of citizenship
: one that frequents a place
nightclub denizens

Example Sentences

one of those muscle-bound denizens of the gym the polar bear is an iconic denizen of the snowy Arctic
Recent Examples on the Web One of the desert's most iconic denizens, the tortoise, has been in peril for decades, its numbers declining as its range shrinks due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Jake Frederico, The Arizona Republic, 17 Apr. 2023 At Better Luck Tomorrow, Heights denizens flock in for biweekly Pasta Tuesdays, featuring a rotating menu of classic pasta dishes, plus trendy cocktails and great food served every day of the week. Rebecca Treon, Chron, 13 Apr. 2023 Robert was not a professional scholar, but a denizen of think tanks and writer for op-ed pages. Samuel Moyn, The New Republic, 14 Feb. 2023 Milling in the halls at the event, Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor and longtime denizen of Clinton world, brushed past, smartphone pressed to his face. Nicholas Kulish, New York Times, 20 Sep. 2022 To map them, Carlos will use another charismatic denizen of sea grass ecosystems: sea turtles. Joseph Polidoro, Scientific American, 6 Mar. 2023 The mantis shrimp, a denizen of tropical waters, leads a particularly vibrant life. Valerie Ross, Discover Magazine, 25 Mar. 2019 Rooster & The Till enjoyed three-hour waits in its 37-seat salad days when the hipster-casual denizens of Seminole Heights went wild for an eatery unlike most of Tampa’s burgeoning 2017 culinary scene. Amy Drew Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 29 Mar. 2023 But the fact remains: The panicked denizens of that shiny valley tried to withdraw $42 billion in one day. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 18 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'denizen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English denizeine, from Anglo-French denisein, denzein inhabitant, inner part, inner, from denz within, from Late Latin deintus, from Latin de- + intus within — more at ent-

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of denizen was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near denizen

Cite this Entry

“Denizen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


den·​i·​zen ˈden-ə-zən How to pronounce denizen (audio)
: inhabitant
especially : a person, animal, or plant found in a particular region or environment

More from Merriam-Webster on denizen

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