Definition of city noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsɪti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪti//
    (pl. cities) Economy
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  1. 1  [countable] a large and important town the city centre one of the world’s most beautiful cities a major city the country’s capital city Mexico City Manchester City Football Club see also inner city Wordfinderamenity, city, ghetto, high-rise, metropolitan, population, slum, suburb, town, urban
  2. 2[countable] (British English) a town that has been given special rights by a king or queen, usually one that has a cathedral the city of York
  3. 3[countable] (North American English) a town that has been given special rights by the state government
  4. 4  [singular + singular or plural verb] all the people who live in a city The city turned out to welcome the victorious team home.
  5. 5the City [singular] (British English) Britain’s financial and business centre, in the oldest part of London a City stockbroker What is the City's reaction to the cut in interest rates? Culturethe CityThe business and financial centre of London is called the City or the City of London. It covers an area in east central London north of the River Thames, between Blackfriars Bridge and Tower Bridge. It is only about one square mile/2.5 square kilometres in size and is often referred to as the Square Mile.Many financial institutions have their head offices in the City, including the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, the London Stock Exchange in Old Broad Street and Lloyd's of London in Lime Street. Many banks, insurance companies and stockbrokers (= companies that buy and sell shares for others) have been in the City many years. When journalists talk about ‘the City’ they are usually not referring to the place but to the people involved in business and commerce, as in: The City had been expecting poor results from the company. In fact, the financial businesses and organizations that are based further east,from the Square Mile, in the area known as Canary Wharf are also included in this extended use of the term ‘the City’.In the City old and new buildings stand next to each other. The most famous older buildings include St Paul's Cathedral, the Guildhall and the Mansion House, where the Lord Mayor of London lives. Tower 42, which is 600 feet/183 metres high, and the Swiss Re Tower, nicknamed ‘the Gherkin’, are two of the City's more recent landmarks. The Shard building, on the south side of the Thames, was opened in 2013 and is currently the tallest building in the European Union. The Barbican Centre includes an art gallery, a theatre and a concert hall, as well as flats/​apartments.Few people live in the City and at night the population is about 7 000. During the day it rises to about half a million, as business people commute (= travel from home to work) to the City by car, bus and train. In the past the traditional image of the City gent was of a businessman in a dark suit and bowler hat, carrying a briefcase (= a leather case for papers, etc.) and a newspaper or an umbrella. The expression She's something in the City means ‘She has an important job with a bank or firm of stockbrokers ’, and suggests wealth and high social status. See related entries: Economy
  6. 6[uncountable] (informal) used after other nouns to say that a place is full of a particular thing It's not exactly fun city here is it? cardboard city (= full of people living in cardboard boxes because they have nowhere else to live)
  7. Word OriginMiddle 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. The connection between city and cathedral grew up under the Norman kings, as the episcopal sees (many had been established in villages) were removed to the chief borough of the diocese.Extra examples Bonn is Oxford’s twin city. Her native city is Tokyo. Parking is difficult in the city centre. Rome is one of the great cities of the world. The building runs the length of a city block. The city grew rapidly in the 19th century. There’s a park just outside the city. We live in a big city. the host city for the Olympic Games the lost city of Atlantis the old walled city of Cartagena the sister cities of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hiroshima, Japan Ely is a cathedral city in East Cambridgeshire. It is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Mexico City has a population of more than 20 million people. The city of Boston is one of America’s most historic cities.Idioms
    the freedom of the city
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    (in Britain) an honour that is given to somebody by a city as a reward for work they have done
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: city