Definition of client in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈklʌɪənt/


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;
patron, regular, habitué, frequenter;
(clients) clientele, patronage, public;
market, trade, business
British informal punter
Law  vendee
rare emptor
1.1A person being dealt with by social or medical services: a client referred for counselling
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.
2 Computing (In a network) a desktop computer or workstation that is capable of obtaining information and applications from a server: workstation clients are going to be easy to install
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: friendly client programs like this enable you to perform complicated actions in just a mouse press or two
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.
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 dependant; a hanger-on.



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).

Words that rhyme with client

affiant, Bryant, compliant, defiant, giant, pliant, reliant

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cli¦ent

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