n. pl. cit·ies
1. A center of population, commerce, and culture; a town of significant size and importance.
a. An incorporated municipality in the United States with definite boundaries and legal powers set forth in a charter granted by the state.
b. A Canadian municipality of high rank, usually determined by population but varying by province.
c. A large incorporated town in Great Britain, usually the seat of a bishop, with its title conferred by the Crown.
3. The inhabitants of a city considered as a group.
4. An ancient Greek city-state.
5. Slang Used in combination as an intensive: The playing field was mud city after the big rain.
6. City The financial and commercial center of London. Used with the.
[Middle English cite, from Old French, from Latin cīvitās, from cīvis, citizen; see kei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.