[den-uh-zuh n]
  1. an inhabitant; resident.
  2. a person who regularly frequents a place; habitué: the denizens of a local bar.
  3. British. an alien admitted to residence and to certain rights of citizenship in a country.
  4. 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)
  1. 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. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for denizenship


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



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