Definition of city in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsɪti/

noun (plural cities)

1A large town: one of Italy’s most beautiful cities [as modifier]: the city council
More example sentences
  • So can we have some sensible ideas for developing our city centre and outlying towns.
  • The city centre is a beautiful mixture of old and new, all of it tinted in a reddish pink.
  • Is it any wonder that our town and city centres are blighted with multitudes of empty shops?
1.1British A town created a city by charter and usually containing a cathedral.
1.2North American A municipal centre incorporated by the state or province.
1.3 [with modifier] informal A place or situation characterized by a specified attribute: the staff were in turmoil—it was panic city
More example sentences
  • Anyway this girl on Saturday was on her way to hot date city.
  • When we came out of the restaurant it was flashbulb city and you can't see a thing.
2 (the City) short for City of London.
2.1The financial and commercial institutions located in the City of London: the Budget got a stony reception from the City [as modifier]: a City analyst
More example sentences
  • Whenever a house in W11 comes up for sale, it is paid for by millions made on Wall Street or in the City.
  • He works for a bank in the City and set the website up a month ago.
  • Rose, who is originally from London, used to work in the heart of the City.



Pronunciation: /ˈsɪtɪwəd/
adjective& adverb
Example sentences
  • Still she kept her face cityward and avoided eye contact with the gatekeepers.
  • Fertility rates will continue to decline in most cities, as will the pace of cityward migration.
  • In contrast to the views from the Nature Trail which face south and cityward, these are mostly east over wilderness.


Example sentences
  • Peasants had thronged citywards from the provinces to make their money in Shanghai.
  • Of recent years the migration citywards has been increasing steadily, the majority being in the younger brackets from 18 years to 25 years.
  • He therefore early felt the call citywards and fourteen years ago made his way to Harrisonburg, with no definite objective in mind.


Middle English: from Old French cite, from Latin civitas, from civis 'citizen'. Originally denoting a town, and often used as a Latin equivalent to Old English burh 'borough', the term was later applied to the more important English boroughs. The connection between city and cathedral grew up under the Norman kings, as the episcopal sees (many had been established in villages) were removed to the chief borough of the diocese.

  • This is from Old French cite, from Latin civitas, from civis ‘citizen’. From the same root come civic (mid 16th century), civility (Late Middle English), civilian (Late Middle English), and civilization (early 18th century).

Words that rhyme with city

banditti, bitty, chitty, committee, ditty, gritty, intercity, kitty, megacity, nitty-gritty, Pitti, pity, pretty, slitty, smriti, spitty, vittae, witty

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: city

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.