[ sit-ee ]
See synonyms for: citycities on

noun,plural cit·ies.
  1. a large or important town.

  2. (in the U.S.) an incorporated municipality, usually governed by a mayor and a board of aldermen or councilmen.

  1. the inhabitants of a city collectively: The entire city is mourning his death.

  2. (in Canada) a municipality of high rank, usually based on population.

  3. (in Great Britain) a borough, usually the seat of a bishop, upon which the dignity of the title has been conferred by the crown.

  4. the City,

    • the major metropolitan center of a region; downtown: I'm going to the City to buy clothes and see a show.

    • the commercial and financial area of London, England.

  5. a city-state.

  6. (often initial capital letter)Slang. a place, person, or situation having certain features or characteristics (used in combination): The party last night was Action City. That guy is dull city.

Origin of city

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English cite, from Anglo-French, Old French cite(t), from Latin cīvitāt-, stem of cīvitās “citizenry, town,” from cīvi(s) “citizen” (cf. civil ) + -tās -ty2

synonym study For city

1. See community.

Other words from city

  • cit·y·less, adjective
  • cit·y·like, adjective
  • in·ter·cit·y, adjective
  • min·i·cit·y, noun, plural min·i·cit·ies.
  • outcity, noun, plural out·cit·ies.
  • pro·cit·y, adjective
  • sub·cit·y, noun, plural sub·cit·ies.

Words Nearby city Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use city in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for city (1 of 2)


/ (ˈsɪtɪ) /

nounplural cities
  1. any large town or populous place

  2. (in Britain) a large town that has received this title from the Crown: usually the seat of a bishop

  1. (in the US) an incorporated urban centre with its own government and administration established by state charter

  2. (in Canada) a similar urban municipality incorporated by the provincial government

  3. an ancient Greek city-state; polis

  4. the people of a city collectively

  5. (modifier) in or characteristic of a city: a city girl; city habits

Origin of city

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

Other words from city

  • Related adjectives: civic, urban, municipal

British Dictionary definitions for City (2 of 2)


/ (ˈsɪtɪ) /

nounthe City
  1. 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)

  2. the area in central London in which the United Kingdom's major financial business is transacted

  1. 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