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A 19th-century neologism, coined by Atis Kronvalds, who claimed to have derived it from pilst (to be(come) full, complete) +‎ -onis, following the example of mirt (to die), mironis (corpse). K. Mīlenbahs criticized it as an incorrect derivation from pils (castle) (compare German Bürger (citizien), from Burg (castle, fortress)). Kronvalds had indeed derived and proposed terms derived from pils for “citizen” (pilietis, pilnietis, which were not successful), but not pilsonis.[1]


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pilsonis m (2nd declension, feminine form: pilsone)

  1. (male) citizen (a legal member of a state)
    Latvijas Republikas pilsoniscitizen of the Latvian Republic
    pilsoņu tiesībascivil (lit. citizens') rights
    pilsoņu brīvībascivil (lit. citizens') liberties
    ārvalsts pilsonisforeign citizen
    goda pilsonishonorary citizen
    pilsoņu karšcivil (lit. citizens') war


Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “pilsonis”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN