Meaning of “civilian” in the English Dictionary

"civilian" in British English

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civiliannoun [ C ]

uk /sɪˈvɪl.jən/ us /səˈvɪl.jən/

C2 a person who is not a member of the police or the armed forces:

The bomb killed four soldiers and three civilians.

More examples

  • Bombing civilians is a crime against humanity .
  • The evacuation of civilians remains out of the question while the fighting continues.
  • The first fatalities of the war were civilians.
  • We will be flying 100 badly wounded civilians out of the battle zone tonight.
  • How many civilians died in the Vietnam War?
civilian
adjective uk us

The army has been criticized for attacking the unarmed civilian population.

(Definition of “civilian” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"civilian" in American English

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civiliannoun [ C ]

us /səˈvɪl·jən/

civilian noun [ C ] (ORDINARY PERSON)

politics & government a person who is not a member of the police, the armed forces, or a fire department:

The senator is not the only civilian who would like to ride in a space shuttle.

civilianadjective [ not gradable ]

us /səˈvɪl·jən/

civilian adjective [ not gradable ] (ORDINARY)

of, relating to, or being a person who is not a member of the police, the armed forces, or a fire department:

the civilian population
civilian workers/employees

(Definition of “civilian” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)