Definition of citation in English:


(also cit.)


  • 1A quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work.

    ‘there were dozens of citations from the works of Byron’
    ‘recognition through citation is one of the principal rewards in science’
    • ‘Extensive citations are included in this longer paper.’
    • ‘In parenthetical citations, the first number refers to the English translation and the second to the original.’
    • ‘Therefore, patent citations reveal community-wide perceptions of the relative importance of patented technologies.’
    • ‘Authors with common names may have been credited with citations to papers they have not written, or some of their papers may have been omitted.’
    • ‘But for the majority of younger scientists, citation count is not a mark of competence.’
    • ‘Subsequent page citations appear parenthetically within the text.’
    • ‘Extensive literature citations are provided and add further to the enormous value of this work.’
    • ‘In addition to those who published no papers during the study period, another 215 academics who authored or co-authored at least one paper received zero citations.’
    • ‘The endnotes are primarily scholarly citations of sources, while the footnotes amplify, explain, or illuminate details or side stories.’
    • ‘I've included the full citations of a few papers so you can look them up in your local library.’
    • ‘They have tracked down each passage that Robbins quotes in the lectures and provide the full bibliographic citation for it.’
    • ‘Print the citation in parentheses just as I have it.’
    • ‘In browsing the Web, a citation to an article shows up on a page.’
    • ‘However, subsequent citations in the literature may distort or misrepresent the studies.’
    • ‘In any event, the citation of authority is unlikely to be helpful.’
    • ‘Not that the book lacks citations, references and footnotes.’
    • ‘This section, as well as the entire book, contains no citations or references to source material.’
    • ‘The number of Web citations to journal articles increased from 1992 to 1997.’
    • ‘The overall citation counts are somewhat higher because papers are often cited outside their own discipline.’
    • ‘In 1905, he published five landmark papers without footnotes or citations.’
    quotation, quote, extract, excerpt, passage, line, piece
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law A reference to a former tried case, used as guidance in the trying of comparable cases or in support of an argument.
      • ‘Each patent abstract provides a list of citations to previous patents, that is, the ‘prior art’ upon which the current patent builds.’
      • ‘The notice shall state concisely the section which is said to be unconstitutional or ultra vires, a brief statement of the argument to be made, and the citation of any cases which are relied upon for support of the argument.’
      • ‘The words underlined by me in that citation in my view support what I have said about this approach to be adopted by the court.’
      • ‘If foreign decisions were freely citable, it would mean that any judge wanting a supporting citation had only to troll deeply enough in the world's corpus juris to find it.’
      • ‘I do not think that that citation supports a submission that there must be some form of specific reference to the work in question.’
      reference, allusion
      View synonyms
  • 2A mention of a praiseworthy act or achievement in an official report, especially that of a member of the armed forces in wartime.

    • ‘He read a citation in tribute to his many years of service to coaching and encouragement of athletics over the years.’
    • ‘You did receive a citation from the CIA director of operations for your work after you retired from the agency over the years.’
    • ‘The official citation, which I will read in a few minutes, lists many of Ray's professional accomplishments.’
    • ‘The citation pays tribute to her dedication and enthusiasm, and the notable successes she has achieved.’
    • ‘Early this year the group were honoured to receive a special citation to mark their 34 years.’
    • ‘The Marine Corps is usually conservative in distributing medals, but the battles of March and April here are certain to bring a significant number of citations for bravery, officials said.’
    • ‘Those records include the official after-action report, citations for Bronze Stars awarded for heroism that day and now the Task Force 115 report.’
    • ‘His Bronze Star medal citation for the incident praises his courage under fire in the aftermath of a mine explosion that rocked another swift boat on that day 35 years ago.’
    • ‘In fact the official citation says that he displayed ‘a complete disregard of his personal safety’.’
    • ‘The many officers who signed those glowing fitness reports and awarded those citations are either liars or they are incompetent.’
    • ‘The Medal of Honor recipient's photos and citations accompany each interview.’
    • ‘Presenting the trophy at Constabulary headquarters, the police authority chairman read out a citation praising the positive image he has given of his job.’
    • ‘Another form of participatory award is the unit citation, which recognizes those who serve in a unit that accomplished its mission in a superior manner.’
    • ‘He has received many citations and official commendations and published two volumes of collected poems he wrote.’
    • ‘He won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat ‘despite enemy bullets flying about him.’’
    • ‘The citation praised the calm and professional way she dealt with the incident.’
    • ‘I thought it was dishonorable and dishonest to question the medals and citations that he had received in combat.’
    • ‘His role was described as ‘vital and incredibly demanding’ in the citation, adding that many lives were saved as a direct result of his actions.’
    • ‘The citation praises in particular the penthouse flat which it describes as a tour de force.’
    • ‘His photographs have received numerous awards and citations.’
    commendation, award, honour
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A note accompanying an award, describing the reasons for it.
      ‘the Nobel citation noted that his discovery would be useful for energy conversion technology’
      • ‘The Chicago firm also received a citation of merit award for the building itself.’
      • ‘According to the award citation, the bank's entry ‘created a moment of real and lasting drama, forcing its domestic rivals to cut profit margins and follow its lead’.’
      • ‘In fact, this play was singled out in the citation awarding the Nobel Prize to Soyinka in 1986.’
      • ‘More honest and accurate than laudatory adjectives on a fitness report or hyperbole in a medal citation, it is the true measure of a man by the people who know him the best.’
      • ‘In 2000, FIFA, the game's world governing body, honoured him with their fair-play award and the citation made special mention of his work with children in Soweto and all over South Africa.’
      • ‘The award citation highlights his achievements in ocean exploration and unraveling its many complexities.’
      • ‘The citation accompanying the award said he was tasked with the disposal of two sea mines.’
      • ‘The full citation of the award is printed following this list of prizes.’
      • ‘He read the citation accompanying the award and added his own praise.’
      • ‘The remainder of the story is best told in the citation accompanying the award of his Air Force Cross.’
      • ‘Their excellence in investigation had solved many challenging cases, the citation presented to them said.’
      • ‘The award that carries a citation recognises his ‘professional excellence and contribution to the field of medicine and surgery especially laparoscopic surgery’.’
      • ‘The citation says that the report ‘brought the plight of oceans into people's living rooms.’’
      • ‘Both programmes were described by the panel of adjudicators, in a citation at the awards ceremony, ‘as examples of first class journalism presented in a compelling and incisive manner’.’
      • ‘"You inspire us to venture beyond the limits in every circumstance of our day, " his citation read.’
      • ‘They are building popular support for peace on both sides of the border, the citation noted.’
      • ‘The Nobel citation praised him, saying he ‘has been pre-eminent in bringing new life to the organisation’.’
      • ‘The award citation tells the rest of the story.’
      • ‘Here's what the magazine reproduces from his award citation.’
      • ‘The citation on his nomination referred to the considerable time and personal commitment he had invested in raising the funding and recruiting the successful candidate, who takes up her post in May.’
      award, accolade, prize, honour, honourable mention, mention, recognition
      View synonyms
  • 3North American A summons.

    ‘a traffic citation’
    • ‘Indeed, he was told he would face a contempt of court citation if he disclosed either his complaint or the censure.’
    • ‘A police officer has pulled over a motorist on the roadway to issue a traffic citation.’
    • ‘A citation requires a court appearance with the punishment and fine being determined by the judge upon conviction.’
    • ‘They must get written authorization from the Department of Environment before issuing a citation.’
    • ‘The police prosecutor has used it in court to look up the driving history of people who were appealing traffic citations.’
    summons, subpoena, writ, court order, process
    View synonyms


Middle English ( citation): from Old French, from Latin citation-, from citare cite.