Definition of city in English:



  • 1A large town.

    ‘one of Italy's most beautiful cities’
    [as modifier] ‘the city council’
    • ‘Stymied, city councilors considered other options including burning, shipping elsewhere and composting.’
    • ‘The survey ranked mainland cities in terms of their commercial competitiveness for the year 2004.’
    • ‘Suburban sprawl surrounds the two major northern cities of Inverness and Aberdeen.’
    • ‘She has been busy visiting cities across the country for the last couple of weeks.’
    • ‘The city centre is a beautiful mixture of old and new, all of it tinted in a reddish pink.’
    • ‘Is it any wonder that our town and city centres are blighted with multitudes of empty shops?’
    • ‘Edinburgh and Glasgow were yesterday celebrating after being named Britain's top tourist cities for the second year running.’
    • ‘Since then it has toured 73 cities in 32 countries and attracted over 7.5 million viewers.’
    • ‘Was it in towns and cities, the countryside villages and shopping centres?’
    • ‘An influx of new shops and bars is set to bring the eastern part of the city centre alive.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, I'm happy to leave the city of my birth at arms length for now.’
    • ‘Still, for all our differences country folk and city slickers posses one commonality.’
    • ‘His favourite is to take the city slickers out to see the Northern Lights.’
    • ‘A torrent of people rushed from their office buildings throughout the capital, eager to leave a city under siege.’
    • ‘Nearly every port city in the world has a substantial population of these rodents.’
    • ‘It is great to be able to follow all the events in your beautiful city as they occur.’
    • ‘But we do not accept this fate with the torpor of other city dwellers.’
    • ‘So can we have some sensible ideas for developing our city centre and outlying towns.’
    • ‘Of course we ended up staying and exploring Rome because it is such a beautiful city.’
    • ‘The flip side of the coin is that hotels located in the heart of the city cost more.’
    town, municipality, metropolis, megalopolis
    conurbation, urban area, metropolitan area
    big smoke
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1North American An incorporated municipal center.
    2. 1.2informal [with modifier]A place or situation characterized by a specified attribute.
      ‘panic city’
      • ‘Anyway this girl on Saturday was on her way to hot date city.’
      • ‘When we came out of the restaurant it was flashbulb city and you can't see a thing.’
  • 2The financial and commercial district of London, England.

    • ‘Reaction in the City was on the cool side, as it also tended to be in Europe.’
    • ‘Originally from Ilford in Essex, he moved from a lucrative City job to New York in 1990.’
    • ‘Rose, who is originally from London, used to work in the heart of the City.’
    • ‘He works for a bank in the City and set the website up a month ago.’
    • ‘Whenever a house in W11 comes up for sale, it is paid for by millions made on Wall Street or in the City.’


Middle English: from Old French cite, from Latin civitas, from civis citizen Originally denoting a town, and often used as a Latin equivalent to Old English burh borough the term was later applied to foreign and ancient cities and to the more important English boroughs.