cit·​i·​zen·​ship ˈsi-tə-zən-ˌship How to pronounce citizenship (audio)
 also  -sən-
: the status of being a citizen
He was granted U.S. citizenship.
: membership in a community (such as a college)
: the quality of an individual's response to membership in a community
The students are learning the value of good citizenship.

Examples of citizenship in a Sentence

She applied for Polish citizenship. He was granted U.S. citizenship. The students are learning the value of good citizenship.
Recent Examples on the Web In June, Russian authorities stopped her from flying home, accusing her of failing to properly declare her U.S. citizenship. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2023 End the constitutional right to birthright citizenship by signing an executive order on his first day in office that would codify a legally untested reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment. Jill Colvin,, 20 Nov. 2023 Though many Democrats favor the creation of a sustainable path to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants, the failure by Democrats and Republicans alike to achieve that goal has elicited cynicism, Rodriguez said. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 Some of them would have been coming as immigrants, whereas others would have been visiting to secure U.S. citizenship for their babies before returning home. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2023 Trump's promise to end birthright citizenship, for example, is legally questionable. Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, 2 Nov. 2023 Alon Ohel, 22, a musician from Misgav who has dual Serbian citizenship, was also taken. Isabel Kershner Amit Elkayam, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2023 Tens of thousands of them are Hong Kongers who have taken up special visas and pathways to citizenship offered by Western countries such as Britain, Canada and Australia in the wake of China’s crackdown. Chris Lau, CNN, 3 Nov. 2023 Hassan, the oldest, is 12 and has American citizenship, but his 7-year-old brother Mohamed and 10-year-old sister Nada were born in Gaza. Ahmed Shawkat, CBS News, 2 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see citizen

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of citizenship was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near citizenship

Cite this Entry

“Citizenship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


cit·​i·​zen·​ship ˈsit-ə-zən-ship How to pronounce citizenship (audio)
: possession of the rights and privileges of a citizen
: the quality of a person's response to membership in a community

Legal Definition


: the status of being a citizen
: the quality of an individual's behavior as a citizen
: domicile
used especially in federal diversity cases
see also diversity jurisdiction at jurisdiction

More from Merriam-Webster on citizenship

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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