- those branches of public service concerned with all governmental administrative functions outside the armed services.
- the body of persons employed in these branches.
- a system or method of appointing government employees on the basis of competitive examinations, rather than by political patronage.
Origin of civil service
First recorded in 1775–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for civil service
He pretended to be some one else, and passed a civil-service examination, wasn't it?The Law-Breakers and Other Stories
Time was when nothing was more encouraging than a civil-service career.Bureaucracy
Honore de Balzac
As a means to this end, civil-service reform should be in good faith enforced.
It is enough to make the blood of Civil-Service Commissioners run cold to hear it.
A civil-service reform which can correct this abuse is much desired.A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Ulysses S. Grant
James D. Richardson
- the service responsible for the public administration of the government of a country. It excludes the legislative, judicial, and military branches. Members of the civil service have no official political allegiance and are not generally affected by changes of governments
- the members of the civil service collectively
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 civil service
c.1785, originally in reference to non-military staff of the East India Company. Civil servant is from 1800.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The nonmilitary personnel who work for a government, applying its laws and regulations.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.