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civil service Syllabification: civ·il serv·ice
Pronunciation: /ˈˌsivil ˈsərvəs/

Definition of civil service in English:


The permanent professional branches of a government’s administration, excluding military and judicial branches and elected politicians.
Example sentences
  • The permanent bureaucracy of government, the civil service, took more and more control.
  • This is a central part of government policy, not just for the civil service, but for the public sector as a whole.
  • They were excluded from top jobs in politics, the civil service and the army.


Late 18th century: originally applied to the part of the service of the British East India Company conducted by staff who did not belong to the army or navy.

Definition of civil service in:
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