civilian

[ si-vil-yuh n ]
/ sɪˈvɪl yən /

noun

a person who is not on active duty with a military, naval, police, or fire fighting organization.
Informal. anyone regarded by members of a profession, interest group, society, etc., as not belonging; nonprofessional; outsider: We need a producer to run the movie studio, not some civilian from the business world.
a person versed in or studying Roman or civil law.

adjective

of, pertaining to, formed by, or administered by civilians.

Nearby words

  1. civil society,
  2. civil tongue,
  3. civil war,
  4. civil war, english,
  5. civil year,
  6. civilian clothes,
  7. civilian conservation corps,
  8. civilian review board,
  9. civilianize,
  10. civilisation

Origin of civilian

1350–1400; Middle English: student of civil law < Old French civilien (adj.); see civil, -ian

Related formsan·ti·ci·vil·ian, adjectivenon·ci·vil·ian, nounpro·ci·vil·ian, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for civilian


British Dictionary definitions for civilian

civilian

/ (sɪˈvɪljən) /

noun

  1. a person whose primary occupation is civil or nonmilitary
  2. (as modifier)civilian life

Word Origin for civilian

C14 (originally: a practitioner of civil law): from civile (from the Latin phrase jūs cīvīle civil law) + -ian

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 civilian

civilian

n.

late 14c., "judge or authority on civil law," from Old French civilien "of the civil law," created from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous" (see civil). Sense of "non-military person" is attested by 1819 (earlier in this sense was civilian, attested from c.1600 as "non-soldier"). The adjective is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper