• synonyms


[sit-uh-dl, -uh-del]
See more synonyms for citadel on Thesaurus.com
  1. a fortress that commands a city and is used in the control of the inhabitants and in defense during attack or siege.
  2. any strongly fortified place; stronghold.
  3. (formerly) a heavily armored structure on a warship, for protecting the engines, magazines, etc.
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Origin of citadel

1580–90; < Middle French citadelle < Old Italian cittadella, equivalent to cittad(e) city + -ella -elle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for citadel

fortification, bastion, fortress, stronghold, manor, keep, castle, fastness, fort, blockhouse, redoubt

Examples from the Web for citadel

Contemporary Examples of citadel

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British Dictionary definitions for citadel


  1. a stronghold within or close to a city
  2. any strongly fortified building or place of safety; refuge
  3. a specially strengthened part of the hull of a warship
  4. (often capital) the headquarters of the Salvation Army
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Word Origin for citadel

C16: from Old French citadelle, from Old Italian cittadella a little city, from cittade city, from Latin cīvitās
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

Word Origin and History for citadel


1580s, "fortress commanding a city," from Middle French citadelle (15c.), from Italian cittadella, diminutive of Old Italian cittade "city" (Modern Italian citta), from Latin civitatem (nominative civitas; also source of Portuguese citadella, Spanish ciuadela; see city).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper