[sahy-tey-shuh n]
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  1. Military. mention of a soldier or a unit in orders, usually for gallantry: She received a presidential citation.
  2. any award or commendation, as for outstanding service, hard work, or devotion to duty, especially a formal letter or statement recounting a person's achievements.
  3. a summons, especially to appear in court.
  4. a document containing such a summons.
  5. the act of citing or quoting a reference to an authority or a precedent.
  6. a passage cited; quotation.
  7. Also cite. a quotation showing a particular word or phrase in context.
  8. Also cite. mention or enumeration.

Origin of citation

1250–1300; Middle English citacio(u)n < Late Latin citātiōn- (stem of citātiō), equivalent to Latin citāt(us) past participle of citāre (see cite1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsci·ta·tion·al, adjectivenon·ci·ta·tion, nounpre·ci·ta·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for citation

Contemporary Examples of citation

Historical Examples of citation

British Dictionary definitions for citation


  1. the quoting of a book or author in support of a fact
  2. a passage or source cited for this purpose
  3. a listing or recounting, as of facts
  4. an official commendation or award, esp for bravery or outstanding service, work, etc, usually in the form of a formal statement made in public
  5. law
    1. an official summons to appear in court
    2. the document containing such a summons
  6. law the quoting of decided cases to serve as guidance to a court
Derived Formscitatory (ˈsaɪtətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective
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 citation

c.1300, "summons, written notice to appear," from Old French citation or directly from Latin citationem (nominative citatio) "a command," noun of action from past participle stem of citare "to summon, urge, call; put in sudden motion, call forward; rouse, excite" (see cite). Meaning "passage cited, quotation" is from 1540s. From 1918 as "a mention in an official dispatch."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper