civilian

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English cyvylien, from Old French civilien. Equivalent to civil +‎ -ian.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /sɪˈvɪljən/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

civilian (plural civilians)

  1. A person following the pursuits of civil life, especially one who is not an active member of the armed forces.
    Three civilians were apprehended by the soldiers and taken away in a military vehicle.
  2. (informal) A person who does not belong to a particular group or engage in a particular activity, an outsider.
    • 2013, Eminem, “The Monster”, in The Marshall Mathers LP 2:
      I have this vision one day that I'll walk amongst you a regular civilian.
    The bathroom was for employees only, so civilians weren't allowed to use it.
  3. One skilled in civil law.
  4. A student of civil law at a university or college.
    • 1788, Richard Graves, Recollection of Some Particulars in the Life of the Late William Shenstone:
      although he kept his name in the college books, and changed his commoner gown to that of a civilian, yet he had now, I believe, no thoughts of proceeding to any degree; and seldom resided in college any more

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

civilian (not comparable)

  1. Not related to the military, police or other governmental professions.
    The three detainees were actually army defectors wearing civilian clothing.
    He worked as a civilian journalist for ten years before being employed by the public broadcaster.

Translations[edit]