Definition of citation in English:


Line breaks: cit|ation
Pronunciation: /sʌɪˈteɪʃ(ə)n


  • 1A quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work: the majority of the citations are to work published during the past twenty years
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    • Not that the book lacks citations, references and footnotes.
    • The endnotes are primarily scholarly citations of sources, while the footnotes amplify, explain, or illuminate details or side stories.
    • In 1905, he published five landmark papers without footnotes or citations.
    quotation, quote, extract, excerpt, passage, line, piece; North American cite
  • 1.1 Law A reference to a previous case, used as guidance in the trying of comparable cases or in support of an argument: this journal contains citations from all jurisdictions
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    • Each patent abstract provides a list of citations to previous patents, that is, the ‘prior art’ upon which the current patent builds.
    • The notice shall state concisely the section which is said to be unconstitutional or ultra vires, a brief statement of the argument to be made, and the citation of any cases which are relied upon for support of the argument.
    • If foreign decisions were freely citable, it would mean that any judge wanting a supporting citation had only to troll deeply enough in the world's corpus juris to find it.
    reference, allusion
  • 2A mention of a praiseworthy act in an official report, especially that of a member of the armed forces in wartime: the citation described him as an officer of extreme gallantry
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    • Those records include the official after-action report, citations for Bronze Stars awarded for heroism that day and now the Task Force 115 report.
    • He has received many citations and official commendations and published two volumes of collected poems he wrote.
    • The citation praises in particular the penthouse flat which it describes as a tour de force.
  • 2.1A note accompanying an award, describing the reasons for it: a Nobel citation
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    • The remainder of the story is best told in the citation accompanying the award of his Air Force Cross.
    • The citation accompanying the award said he was tasked with the disposal of two sea mines.
    • He read the citation accompanying the award and added his own praise.


Middle English (in sense 2): from Old French, from Latin citatio(n-), from citare 'cite'.

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