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Definition of "civil" []

  • Of, relating to, or befitting a citizen or citizens: civil duties. (adjective)
  • Of or relating to citizens and their interrelations with one another or with the state: civil society; the civil branches of government. (adjective)
  • Of ordinary citizens or ordinary community life as distinguished from the military or the ecclesiastical: civil authorities. (adjective)
  • Of or in accordance with organized society; civilized. (adjective)
  • Sufficiently observing or befitting accepted social usages; not rude: a civil reply. See Synonyms at polite. (adjective)
  • Of the ordinary life of citizens as distinguished from military, legal, or ecclesiastical affairs (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Of or relating to the citizen as an individual (adjective)
  • Of or occurring within the state or between citizens (adjective)
  • Polite or courteous (adjective)
  • Of or in accordance with Roman law (adjective)
  • Relating to the private rights of citizens (adjective)

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Use "civil" in a sentence
  • "With the spread of internal purges inside the Communist Party of Kampuchea, having been a civil servant of a previous regime was no longer required to earn a death sentence; increasingly, “civil servants” or cadre from within Democratic Kampuchea itself were widely rounded up and terminated."
  • "So that of civil honour the fountain is in the person of the commonwealth, and dependeth on the will of the sovereign; and is therefore temporary, and called ‘civil honour, ’ such as magistracy, offices, titles, and, in some places, coats and scutcheons painted; and men honour such as have them, as having so many signs of favour in the commonwealth: which favour is power."
  • "Iraq has descended into nothing but a civil war, and there is nothing * civil* about it."