[ sit-uh-zuhn, -suhn ]
See synonyms for: citizencitizens on

  1. 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).

  2. an inhabitant of a city or town, especially one entitled to its privileges or franchises.

  1. an inhabitant, or denizen: The deer is a citizen of our woods.

  2. a civilian, as distinguished from a soldier, police officer, etc.

Origin of citizen

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English citisein, from Anglo-French citesein, Old French citeain, from cite city + -ain -an; change from citeain to citesein perhaps by association with Anglo-French denzain denizen

Other words from citizen

  • cit·i·zen·ly, adjective
  • non·cit·i·zen, noun
  • un·cit·i·zen·ly, adjective
  • un·der·cit·i·zen, noun

Words that may be confused with citizen

Words Nearby citizen Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use citizen in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for citizen


/ (ˈsɪtɪzən) /

  1. a native registered or naturalized member of a state, nation, or other political community: Compare alien

  2. an inhabitant of a city or town

  1. a native or inhabitant of any place

  2. a civilian, as opposed to a soldier, public official, etc

Origin of citizen

C14: from Anglo-French citesein, from Old French citeien, from cité, city

Other words from citizen

  • Related adjective: civil

Derived forms of citizen

  • citizeness (ˈsɪtɪzənɪs, -ˌnɛs), fem n
  • citizenly, 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