- 1A person not in the armed services or the police force: terrorists and soldiers have killed tens of thousands of civiliansMore example sentences
- Eight more police and two civilians died when their vehicles ran over mines.
- The awards are made to civilians and police officers who put their lives at risk to save others.
- People were brutally assaulted by police, and by civilians who acted in collusion to them.
- 1.1 • informal A person who is not a member of a particular profession or group, as viewed by a member of that group: I talk to a lot of actresses and they say that civilians are scared of themMore example sentences
- Many civilians outside the wonderful world of the City, having been lectured about their overdrafts, assumed that the banks were paragons of financial conservatism.
- Was he a civilian or a celebrity?
- People in show business refer to those outside of it as civilians.
adjectiveBack to top
late Middle English (denoting a practitioner of civil law): from Old French civilien, in the phrase droit civilien 'civil law'. The current sense arose in the early 19th century.