civil Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “civil” in the English Dictionary

"civil" in British English

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civiladjective

uk   us   /ˈsɪv.əl/
  • civil adjective (ORDINARY)

C1 [before noun] not ​military or ​religious, or ​relating to the ​ordinarypeople of a ​country: Helicopters are ​mainly used for ​militaryrather than civil use. After ten ​years of ​militarydictatorship, the ​country now has a civil government. We weren't ​married in ​church, but we had a civil ceremony in a ​registryoffice.

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  • civil adjective (LAW)

[before noun] specialized law relating to ​privatearguments between ​people or ​organizationsrather than ​criminalmatters: The ​matter would be ​betterdealt with in the civil courtrather than by an ​expensivecriminalproceeding.
(Definition of civil from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"civil" in American English

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civiladjective

 us   /ˈsɪv·əl/
  • civil adjective (ORDINARY)

of or ​relating to the ​ordinarypeople of a ​country, ​rather than ​members of ​religiousorganizations or the ​military: These ​helicopters are for ​rescue and other civil use. We were ​married in a civil ​ceremony. politics & government Civil also refers to the ​legalsystemgoverningpersonal and ​businessmatters: civil ​court
  • civil adjective (POLITE)

polite and ​formal: We were civil to each other, but we were both still ​angry.
(Definition of civil from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"civil" in Business English

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civiladjective [before noun]

uk   us   /ˈsɪvəl/ LAW
relating to ​legal disagreements between ​people or ​businesses, rather than ​criminalactivities: civil action/lawsuit/case, etc. The Chapter 11 ​actionsuspended a civil ​trial in which two ​plaintiffssoughtcompensationtotaling more than $160 million.
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(Definition of civil from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“civil” in British English

“civil” in American English

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