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civil service

those branches of public service concerned with all governmental administrative functions outside the armed services.
the body of persons employed in these branches.
a system or method of appointing government employees on the basis of competitive examinations, rather than by political patronage.
Origin of civil service
First recorded in 1775-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for civil service
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Tommy talked of the civil service in the tone of Harry himself.

  • There's civil service to be gone through, and the like of that.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • But mind no examination,—no going before the civil service chaps.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • He had long had a great desire to enter the Imperial civil service.

    The Tribune of Nova Scotia

    W. L. (William Lawson) Grant
  • He gave some attention also to the debate on the civil service law.

  • Public attention was focused upon the civil service by the events of 1881.

    The New Nation Frederic L. Paxson
  • You've only to say one word, and I'll work for the civil service.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • In the civil service of the National government there are said to be nearly two score.

    The Deaf Harry Best
British Dictionary definitions for civil service

civil service

the service responsible for the public administration of the government of a country. It excludes the legislative, judicial, and military branches. Members of the civil service have no official political allegiance and are not generally affected by changes of governments
the members of the civil service collectively
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for civil service

c.1785, originally in reference to non-military staff of the East India Company. Civil servant is from 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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civil service in Culture

civil service definition

The nonmilitary personnel who work for a government, applying its laws and regulations.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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