- a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection (distinguished from alien).
- an inhabitant of a city or town, especially one entitled to its privileges or franchises.
- an inhabitant, or denizen: The deer is a citizen of our woods.
- a civilian, as distinguished from a soldier, police officer, etc.
Origin of citizen
- a native registered or naturalized member of a state, nation, or other political communityCompare alien
- an inhabitant of a city or town
- a native or inhabitant of any place
- a civilian, as opposed to a soldier, public official, etc
Word Origin and History for noncitizen
early 14c., "inhabitant of a city," from Anglo-French citezein (spelling subsequently altered, probably by influence of denizen), from Old French citeien "city-dweller, town-dweller, citizen" (12c., Modern French citoyen), from cite (see city) + -ain (see -ian). Replaced Old English burhsittend and ceasterware. Sense of "inhabitant of a country" is late 14c. Citizen's arrest recorded from 1941; citizen's band (radio) from 1947. Citizen of the world (late 15c.) translates Greek kosmopolites.