Definition of client in English:



  • 1A person or organization using the services of a lawyer or other professional person or company.

    ‘insurance tailor-made to a client's specific requirements’
    • ‘This service will allow clients to include corporate and branding styles within their presentations.’
    • ‘The standard was created to provide an industry benchmark to ensure clients receive a professional, high-quality service.’
    • ‘The three lawyers and the clients were doing all the talking and I knew that Professor Sutherland wasn't going to ask me questions.’
    • ‘Both of the lawyers say that their clients broke no laws.’
    • ‘I resent that as a defense lawyer; my clients resent it.’
    • ‘And it has been a great experience and we have been working with great lawyers and great clients.’
    • ‘It would transform the role of the lawyer - sometimes leading him to say no to a client when a client-centered lawyer would say yes.’
    • ‘As well as attending regular meetings during the year, the professionals each invite clients to a Christmas lunch.’
    • ‘He did an excellent job as a lawyer defending his client, poking holes in the prosecution's case, exactly what a defense attorney should do.’
    • ‘It employs over 1,000 dedicated professionals and services a client base of over half a million customers.’
    • ‘But defence lawyers say their clients only wanted to observe Colombia's now defunct peace process.’
    • ‘However, one of the lawyer's clients took a High Court challenge in Britain after a prison governor refused to allow a private meeting.’
    • ‘As a practical matter, business lawyers advise clients on out-of-state law all the time - they just do it from afar.’
    • ‘It is only by maintaining their independence and professional distance from their clients that lawyers can carry out their proper role.’
    • ‘His client list includes many professional sports and entertainment notables.’
    • ‘The company, which is based in Bolton, has a number of corporate clients and professionals including doctors, and dentists.’
    • ‘This year, he says, the buy includes 10 Organic clients worldwide.’
    • ‘Made, however, didn't specify exactly which media organizations his client would be reporting to police.’
    • ‘It then found the Audit office had no jurisdiction because it was private business between a lawyer and his client and did not involve public money.’
    • ‘What makes this territory unique is, as with any small town, the ongoing contact between lawyers and clients outside office hours.’
    customer, buyer, purchaser, shopper, consumer, user
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person receiving social or medical services.
      ‘a client referred for counseling’
      • ‘For instance, staff in social services offices often have to deal with clients with low personal hygiene.’
      • ‘We will be looking to give priority to the more vulnerable members of society, particularly in residential care homes and social services clients.’
      • ‘Shy clients rank threatening social situations, then master the list item by item.’
      • ‘Of social services clients contacted during the first three months, two thirds were found not to be claiming all the benefits they should be having.’
      • ‘The withdrawal of Vertex from the call centre means potential clients are now dealing solely with Manpower, which makes for a more straightforward arrangement.’
      • ‘In that time over 5000 clients, mainly dealing with alcohol addiction, have passed through the doors of Aiseirí.’
      • ‘The result is a cultural competency whose previous absence hindered the chances of success for First Nations clients of social services.’
      • ‘When I met them I thought they were like clients of social workers, and a couple of years ago social services became involved with them due to child-care concerns.’
      • ‘Osorio seems to have empathy for all parties - clients, social workers and judges.’
      • ‘The aims of the day were to promote services and enable referrals to take place between relevant service providers and to reflect on how services deal with clients.’
      • ‘Before treatment, Gillian carries out a careful medical consultation with clients.’
      • ‘At this time I also worked on a casual basis in a rural hospital where I dealt with the medical/geriatric clients from that community.’
      • ‘The healer should work in co-operation with other health care professionals, including the client's doctor.’
      • ‘Police and housing associations will refer cases to the service, which is a charity, and can also deal with clients who come to them directly.’
      • ‘The Community Transport chairman says the name is particularly fitting because that vehicle will be used by the council's Social Services clients.’
      • ‘A spokesman for the clinic, one of a series run by the charity Phoenix House across Britain, said clients had enough to deal with without distraction from the media.’
      • ‘I was actually relieved to be a Support Worker again as I didn't have so many different clients to deal with and I had more time to build up proper relationships with them.’
      • ‘A sister on the ward reports that they have to deal with abusive clients every day.’
      • ‘The nonparticipants were clients of local social service agencies or friends of those who had participated in A Journey Toward Womanhood.’
      • ‘People dealing with foodbank clients report that rent is the single most frequently mentioned reason for seeking help.’
    2. 1.2also client state A nation that is dependent on another, more powerful nation.
      • ‘All we could offer in return was our obsequious reliability as client state.’
      • ‘We ran its government as a client state with a puppet king.’
      • ‘The decades after the Second World War, when Albania was the sole European client state of communist China, have left little or no trace in Albanian kitchens.’
      • ‘Historical analogies to such a relationship between a major power and a client state are hard to come by.’
      • ‘This would be the first instance I know where a great power (in fact, a superpower) would do the fighting as the proxy of a small client state.’
      • ‘They are allied, they are not simply a client state.’
      • ‘As a Soviet client state it boasted an educated population with good roads, clinics and jobs.’
      • ‘Nationbuilding's effect on a client state can be profound and more enduring than that achieved solely through diplomatic efforts.’
      • ‘In any event, the Japanese were left free to set up the client state of Manchukuo, which existed until the Japanese surrender in 1945.’
      • ‘In reality, however, the Netherlands became a client state of France in 1795 and was even annexed by the latter in 1810.’
  • 2Computing
    (in a network) a desktop computer or workstation that is capable of obtaining information and applications from a server.

    • ‘Should the client, the application server, or the database management system perform this processing?’
    • ‘The computers that run the applications - the clients and servers - are at the edge of the network.’
    • ‘Over the years, Lotus has provided developers with tools for quickly and easily building applications that run across networks of clients and servers.’
    • ‘The company's killer product could be the GoodInfo system, an application server for delivering the information to a wireless client.’
    • ‘Users and even integrators will disagree with where lines are drawn between PCs, servers, thin clients, and workstations.’
    1. 2.1 A program that is capable of obtaining a service provided by another program.
      • ‘In Figure 2, the user interactively queries a client application on a PDA that contains a list of stocks in a portfolio.’
      • ‘An integrated dynamic firewall limits access to the client / server applications on a per-user basis.’
      • ‘Added to this is an optional client / server application that allows a service provider to control it remotely.’
      • ‘This indirect access enables the client program to gain access to the data in a database that it would not otherwise be able to access.’
      • ‘This could be your web server, a desktop computer running a database client application, or both.’
  • 3(in ancient Rome) a plebeian under the protection of a patrician.

    • ‘He took no active part in the opposition to the Roman invasion of AD43 and was subsequently made a client of Rome.’
    • ‘Trollope is not only recalling the Roman patron/client relationship but also asserting how Fothergill is socially below and subservient to Palliser.’
    • ‘In ancient Rome clients were plebeians who were bound in a subservient relationship with their patrician patron.’
    1. 3.1archaic A dependent; a hanger-on.
      child, minor
      hanger-on, cadger, leech, passenger, drone
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin cliens, client-, variant of cluens ‘heeding’, from cluere ‘hear or obey’. The term originally denoted a person under the protection and patronage of another, hence a person ‘protected’ by a legal adviser ( client (sense 1)).