plural cities
often attributive
: an inhabited place of greater size, population, or importance than a town or village
We spent the weekend in the city.
: an incorporated British town usually of major size or importance having the status of an episcopal see
c capitalized
: the financial district of London
: the influential financial interests of the British economy
: a usually large or important municipality in the U.S. governed under a charter granted by the state
: an incorporated municipal unit of the highest class in Canada
: the people of a city
The city rebelled against the oppressive government.
slang : a thing, event, or situation that is strongly characterized by a specified quintessential feature or quality
The movie was shoot-out city.
Getting lost in the maze was panic city.

Example Sentences

major cities like London, Tokyo, and Rome The city is working to make the streets safer. a lawsuit against the city
Recent Examples on the Web Critics say the payouts make no sense in a state and city that never enslaved Black people. Janie Har, Chicago Tribune, 15 Mar. 2023 Ohio lawmakers have stripped from the state's transportation budget a specific measure city officials requested to sell the Cincinnati Southern Railway. Sharon Coolidge, The Enquirer, 15 Mar. 2023 In a January letter, city officials told families that the contract for temporary housing assistance would end on March 31. Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2023 In a Wednesday statement, Jon Latino, a spokesman for the Boston Public Health Commission, said addressing the opioid crisis and helping those in need remains a top priority for city officials. Danny Mcdonald,, 15 Mar. 2023 Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said city officials were keeping a close eye on the storm, which was expected to start out as mostly rain Tuesday along the eastern coast of Massachusetts. Wilson Ring, ajc, 14 Mar. 2023 In April 2014, city officials switched to the Flint River as a temporary drinking water source but failed to implement corrosion control. Javacia Harris Bowser, Good Housekeeping, 14 Mar. 2023 Incidents of migrants crossing El Paso's busy highways have also largely stopped, city officials said. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 14 Mar. 2023 Green paint was added at seven south Carlsbad intersections to highlight potential conflict points in areas shared by cyclists and motor vehicles, city officials said. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Mar. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'city.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English citie large or small town, from Anglo-French cité, from Medieval Latin civitat-, civitas, from Latin, citizenship, state, city of Rome, from civis citizen — more at hind

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of city was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near city

Cite this Entry

“City.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural cities
: a place in which people live that is larger or more important than a town
: the people of a city

Middle English citie "large or small town," from early French cité (same meaning), derived from Latin civitas "state of being a resident of a town, citizenship," from civis "citizen" — related to citizen, civil

More from Merriam-Webster on city

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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