Definition of client in English:


Syllabification: cli·ent
Pronunciation: /ˈklīənt


  • 1A person or organization using the services of a lawyer or other professional person or company: insurance tailor-made to a client’s specific requirements
    More example sentences
    • It is only by maintaining their independence and professional distance from their clients that lawyers can carry out their proper role.
    • His client list includes many professional sports and entertainment notables.
    • It employs over 1,000 dedicated professionals and services a client base of over half a million customers.
    customer, buyer, purchaser, shopper, consumer, user; patient; patron, regular; (clients) clientele, patronage, public, market; Law vendee
  • 1.1A person receiving social or medical services: a client referred for counseling
    More example sentences
    • The result is a cultural competency whose previous absence hindered the chances of success for First Nations clients of social services.
    • We will be looking to give priority to the more vulnerable members of society, particularly in residential care homes and social services clients.
    • Of social services clients contacted during the first three months, two thirds were found not to be claiming all the benefits they should be having.
  • 1.2 (also client state) A nation that is dependent on another, more powerful nation.
    More example sentences
    • They are allied, they are not simply a client state.
    • This would be the first instance I know where a great power (in fact, a superpower) would do the fighting as the proxy of a small client state.
    • All we could offer in return was our obsequious reliability as client state.
  • 2 Computing (In a network) a desktop computer or workstation that is capable of obtaining information and applications from a server.
    More example sentences
    • Users and even integrators will disagree with where lines are drawn between PCs, servers, thin clients, and workstations.
    • Over the years, Lotus has provided developers with tools for quickly and easily building applications that run across networks of clients and servers.
    • The computers that run the applications - the clients and servers - are at the edge of the network.
  • 2.1 (also client application or program) A program that is capable of obtaining a service provided by another program.
    More example sentences
    • This could be your web server, a desktop computer running a database client application, or both.
    • This indirect access enables the client program to gain access to the data in a database that it would not otherwise be able to access.
    • In Figure 2, the user interactively queries a client application on a PDA that contains a list of stocks in a portfolio.
  • 3(In ancient Rome) a plebeian under the protection of a patrician.
    More example sentences
    • In ancient Rome clients were plebeians who were bound in a subservient relationship with their patrician patron.
    • He took no active part in the opposition to the Roman invasion of AD43 and was subsequently made a client of Rome.
    • Trollope is not only recalling the Roman patron/client relationship but also asserting how Fothergill is socially below and subservient to Palliser.
  • 3.1 archaic A dependent; a hanger-on.



More example sentences
  • The state remains central in perpetuating clientship, wealth and development.
  • From this Gallic system of clientship there developed, in Frankish times, the conception of the ‘lord's man’ (homagium or hominium).
  • Compulsory labour takes a considerable variety of forms, today as in the past - debt bondage, clientship, peonage, helotage, serfdom, chattel slavery, and so on.


late Middle English: from Latin cliens, client-, variant of cluens 'heeding', from cluere 'hear or obey'. The term originally denoted a person under the protection and patronage of another, hence a person “protected” by a legal adviser (sense 1).

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used to address an English nobleman