- a person who is not on active duty with a military, naval, police, or fire fighting organization.
- Informal. anyone regarded by members of a profession, interest group, society, etc., as not belonging; nonprofessional; outsider: We need a producer to run the movie studio, not some civilian from the business world.
- a person versed in or studying Roman or civil law.
- of, pertaining to, formed by, or administered by civilians.
Origin of civilian
- a person whose primary occupation is civil or nonmilitary
- (as modifier)civilian life
Word Origin and History for non-civilian
late 14c., "judge or authority on civil law," from Old French civilien "of the civil law," created from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous" (see civil). Sense of "non-military person" is attested by 1819 (earlier in this sense was civilian, attested from c.1600 as "non-soldier"). The adjective is from 1640s.