• synonyms


[ sahyt ]
/ saɪt /

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




repeat, name, offer, mention, indicate, specify, recount, allege, tell, present, call, order, exemplify, advance, remember, reference, reminisce, rehearse, excerpt, number

Nearby words

cit., citadel, citalopram, citation, citation form, cite, cites, cithaeron, cithara, cither, citied

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 confusedcite 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.

Definition for cite (2 of 2)


[ sahyt ]
/ saɪt /


Origin of cite

by shortening Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cite

British Dictionary definitions for cite


/ (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 Formscitable 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

Word Origin and History for cite



mid-15c., "to summon," from Old French citer "to summon" (14c.), from Latin citare "to summon, urge, call; put in sudden motion, call forward; rouse, excite," frequentative of ciere "to move, set in motion, stir, rouse, call, invite" from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion, to move to and fro" (cf. Sanskrit cyavate "stirs himself, goes;" Greek kinein "to move, set in motion; change, stir up," kinymai "move myself;" Gothic haitan "call, be called;" Old English hatan "command, call"). Sense of "calling forth a passage of writing" is first attested 1530s. Related: Cited; citing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper