[den-uh-zuh n]


an inhabitant; resident.
a person who regularly frequents a place; habitué: the denizens of a local bar.
British. an alien admitted to residence and to certain rights of citizenship in a country.
anything adapted to a new place, condition, etc., as an animal or plant not indigenous to a place but successfully naturalized.

verb (used with object)

to make a denizen of.

Origin of denizen

1425–75; late Middle English denisein < Anglo-French, equivalent to deinz within (Old French; see dedans) + -ein -an
Related formsden·i·za·tion, den·i·zen·a·tion, nounden·i·zen·ship, nounun·den·i·zened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for denizen

Contemporary Examples of denizen

  • How lovely, than, that one Internet denizen took the time to help these forgotten statesmen find sexual satiation…with each other!

    The Daily Beast logo
    Fifty Shades of Presidential FanFiction

    Amy Zimmerman

    August 2, 2014

  • It's a small, exclusive French brand that was once only the denizen of select fashionistas.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Battle of the Oscar Stylists

    Merle Ginsberg

    February 20, 2009

Historical Examples of denizen

  • Is it to the denizen of a coal mine you apply for information about the Nassau balloon?

    Nuts and Nutcrackers

    Charles James Lever

  • To the denizen of the air all, save the want of oxygen, might appear divine.

  • How unlike the denizen of the desert, the voyageur of the prairie sea!

  • His range is extensive, but he is properly a denizen of the cold and snowy regions.

  • For every den had its denizen, and Diana roamed the earth once more.

    The Gay Rebellion

    Robert W. Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for denizen



an inhabitant; occupant; resident
British an individual permanently resident in a foreign country where he enjoys certain rights of citizenship
a plant or animal established in a place to which it is not native
a naturalized foreign word


(tr) to make a denizen

Word Origin for denizen

C15: from Anglo-French denisein, from Old French denzein, from denz within, from Latin de intus from within
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 denizen

early 15c., from Anglo-French deinzein, from deinz "within, inside," from Late Latin deintus, from de- "from" + intus "within" (see ento-). Historically, an alien admitted to certain rights of citizenship; a naturalized citizen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper