[ sit-ee ]
/ ˈsɪt i /
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See synonyms for: city / cities on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural cit·ies.


What Are Some US City Names That We Are All Pronouncing Wrong?

Even if you have lived in the US your whole life there are still cities that you probably pronounce wrong. So, what is the right way to say them? Watch on!

There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of city

1175–1225; Middle English cite<Anglo-French, Old French cite(t) <Latin cīvitāt- (stem of cīvitās) citizenry, town, equivalent to cīvi(s) citizen + -tāt--ty2

synonym study for city

1. See community.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of city?

A city is a place where a large number of people live. The word city is also used to refer to all of the people who live in this kind of place or to something that is related to such a place. The word city has more specific meanings, depending on the country.

The plural of city is cities. Generally speaking, a city is a place where a large number of people are gathered together to live and/or work. Cities are typically much larger than places referred to as towns and are known for having homes and apartments placed more closely together than in other places. Different countries have specific definitions of what actually qualifies as a city, but the word is often used generally to describe a place where many people live.

Real-life examples: New York City, Tokyo, Paris, London, Moscow, Beijing, Madrid, and Berlin are examples of major cities around the world.

Used in a sentence: I grew up in the city of Philadelphia.

Playing off of this, the word city is also used to collectively refer to all of the people who live in a city.

Real-life examples: A mayor will often give speeches to the city, meaning the people who live there. A parade or festival will also be organized by a city, meaning the city’s government or the citizens of a city.

Used in a sentence: The city celebrated New Year’s Eve with a big parade. 

The word city is also used to describe something that is related to or has the quality of a city.

Real-life examples: A city library is a library located in and run by a city. A city bus is a bus owned and operated by a city. A city person is someone who grew up in a city or prefers the life of a city.

Used in a sentence: My dad really hates city traffic.

Where does city come from?

The first records of city come from around 1175. It ultimately comes from the Latin cīvitās, meaning “citizenship” or “state,” from the word cīvis meaning “citizen.”

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What are some other forms related to city?

  • cityless (adjective)
  • citylike (adjective)
  • intercity (adjective)
  • inner city (noun)

What are some synonyms for city?

What are some words that share a root or word element with city

What are some words that often get used in discussing city?

How is city used in real life?

City is a common word most frequently referring to a place where a lot of people live.



Try using city!

True or False?

A city is larger and has more people living in it than a town or village.

How to use city in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for city (1 of 2)

/ (ˈsɪtɪ) /

noun plural cities

Other words from city

Related adjectives: civic, urban, municipal

Word Origin for city

C13: from Old French cité, from Latin cīvitās citizenship, state, from cīvis citizen

British Dictionary definitions for city (2 of 2)

/ (ˈsɪtɪ) /

noun the City
short for City of London : the original settlement of London on the N bank of the Thames; a municipality governed by the Lord Mayor and Corporation. Resident pop: 7186 (2001)
the area in central London in which the United Kingdom's major financial business is transacted
the various financial institutions located in this area
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