[ den-uh-zuhn ]
See synonyms for: denizendenizens on

  1. an inhabitant; resident.

  2. a person who regularly frequents a place; habitué: the denizens of a local bar.

  1. anything adapted to a new place, condition, etc., as an animal or plant not indigenous to a place but successfully naturalized.

  2. British Law. an alien admitted to residence and to certain rights of citizenship in a country: this legal designation has been obsolete since the first half of the 20th century.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make a denizen of.

Origin of denizen

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English denisein, denesyn, from Anglo-French denzein, denszein “(the) one within,” equivalent to Anglo-French deinz, denz, dens (from Old French dedens, dedenz, adverb and preposition, “inside, on the inside”) + -ein, adjective suffix from Latin compound adjective suffix -āneus; see origin at dedans,-an,-eous

Other words from denizen

  • den·i·za·tion, den·i·zen·a·tion, noun
  • den·i·zen·ship, noun
  • un·den·i·zened, adjective

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

How to use denizen in a sentence

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

  • When Kemal, a wealthy denizen of Istanbul, meets Fusun, a beautiful shop girl and distant cousin, the two begin a torrid affair.

    This Week's Hot Reads | The Daily Beast | November 24, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • It's a small, exclusive French brand that was once only the denizen of select fashionistas.

    Battle of the Oscar Stylists | Merle Ginsberg | February 20, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • It embellishes the denizen of the city, and hides the nakedness of barbarism.

  • It was strange indeed to meet a living denizen of a world that seemed to her impossible except in books.

    Duffels | Edward Eggleston
  • The elephant is the denizen of the forests where, in a succeeding chapter, we shall encounter both him and the rhinoceros.

    The Desert World | Arthur Mangin
  • The solitary denizen of the plains—the little minivet (Pericrocotus peregrinus)—is the least resplendent of them all.

  • Sometimes this throat uttered Yes, sometimes it uttered No; sometimes it made inquiries about a time worn denizen of the place.

    Return of the Native | Thomas Hardy

British Dictionary definitions for denizen


/ (ˈdɛnɪzən) /

  1. an inhabitant; occupant; resident

  2. British an individual permanently resident in a foreign country where he enjoys certain rights of citizenship

  1. a plant or animal established in a place to which it is not native

  2. a naturalized foreign word

  1. (tr) to make a denizen

Origin of 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