Try Our Apps


The saddest words


[myoo-nis-uh-puh l] /myuˈnɪs ə pəl/
of or relating to a town or city or its local government:
municipal elections.
Archaic. pertaining to the internal affairs of a state or nation rather than to international affairs.
Origin of municipal
1530-40; < Latin mūnicipālis, equivalent to mūnicip- (stem of mūniceps) citizen of a free town (mūni(a) duties + -cip-, combining form of capere to take) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
municipally, adverb
intermunicipal, adjective
nonmunicipal, adjective
nonmunicipally, adverb
premunicipal, adjective
quasi-municipal, adjective
quasi-municipally, adverb
supermunicipal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for municipal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Anderson had never taken any part in municipal affairs, but he had in other ways always done his fair share of public work.

    Western Worthies J. Stephen Jeans
  • The municipal councils will all be removed from office to-day.

    Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
  • This post he held for eighteen months only, but in that brief period he obtained a reputation as a social and municipal reformer.

  • At about this time a municipal election was to come off in the city of Philadelphia.

  • Unmarried women that are taxpayers exercise only active suffrage in municipal and school elections.

British Dictionary definitions for municipal


of or relating to a town, city, or borough or its local government
Derived Forms
municipalism, noun
municipalist, noun
municipally, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin mūnicipium a free town, from mūniceps citizen from mūnia responsibilities + capere to take
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for municipal

1540s, from Middle French municipal, from Latin municipalis "of a citizen of a free town, of a free town," also "of a petty town, provincial," from municipium "free town, city whose citizens have the privileges of Roman citizens but are governed by their own laws," from municeps "citizen, inhabitant of a free town." Second element is root of capere "assume, take" (see capable). First element is from munus (plural munia) "service performed for the community, duty, work," also "public spectacle paid for by the magistrate, (gladiatorial) entertainment, gift," from Old Latin moenus "service, duty, burden," from PIE *moi-n-es-, generally taken as a suffixed form of root *mei- "to change, go, move" (Watkins; see mutable); but Tucker says "more probably" from the other PIE root *mei- meaning "bind," so that munia = "obligations" and communis = "bound together."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for municipal

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for municipal

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for municipal