[ sahyt ]
/ saɪt /

verb (used with object), cit·ed, cit·ing.

Origin of cite

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin citāre to summon before a church court; in Latin, to hurry, set in motion, summon before a court, frequentative of ciēre to move, set in motion

Related forms

Can be confused

cite sight site

Word story

The English verb cite “to quote a passage; summon to appear in court, etc.” comes via Middle French citer “to summon (someone) to do something” from Latin citāre “to set in motion, rouse to action, summon, summon (an accused person) by name to appear, call on (a witness), summon (someone) for empanelment on a jury” (the Romans loved law and legal procedure).
Citāre is a frequentative verb from the simple verb ciēre “to move, call, rouse, excite, provoke (disturbances, war), call upon.” Ciēre derives from a variant stem of the Proto-Indo-European root kēi- “to set in motion, be in motion.” The Greek verb kíein “to start moving” (used only in poetry) is from the same variant.
Kī-n, another (suffixed) variant of kēi-, is the root of the Greek verb kineîn “to move, shake, drive, drive away,” with the derivative nouns kínēsis and kínēma. In English, kinesis is a term used in physiology for the movement of an organism in response to a stimulus, such as light; the English noun cinema is an expensive word for movie or movies or the movies. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for citable

British Dictionary definitions for citable


/ (saɪt) /

verb (tr)

to quote or refer to (a passage, book, or author) in substantiation as an authority, proof, or example
to mention or commend (a soldier, etc) for outstanding bravery or meritorious action
to summon to appear before a court of law
to enumeratehe cited the king's virtues

Derived Forms

citable or citeable, adjectiveciter, noun

Word Origin for cite

C15: from Old French citer to summon, from Latin citāre to rouse, from citus quick, from ciēre to excite
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