cistern (n.) Look up cistern at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., from Old French cisterne "cistern; dungeon, underground prison" (12c., Modern French citerne), from Latin cisterna "underground reservoir for water," from cista "chest, box," from Greek kiste "box, chest" (see chest).
cit (n.) Look up cit at Dictionary.com
colloquial shortening of citizen, 1640s; contrasted to a countryman or a gentleman, usually with some measure of opprobrium (Johnson defines it as "A pert low townsman; a pragmatical trader").
citadel (n.) Look up citadel at Dictionary.com
1580s, "fortress commanding a city," from Middle French citadelle (15c.), from Italian cittadella, diminutive of Old Italian cittade "city" (Modern Italian citta), from Latin civitatem (nominative civitas; also source of Portuguese citadella, Spanish ciuadela; see city).
citation (n.) Look up citation at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "summons, written notice to appear," from Old French citation or directly from Latin citationem (nominative citatio) "a command," noun of action from past participle stem of citare "to summon, urge, call; put in sudden motion, call forward; rouse, excite" (see cite). Meaning "passage cited, quotation" is from 1540s. From 1918 as "a mention in an official dispatch."
cite (v.) Look up cite at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "to summon," from Old French citer "to summon" (14c.), from Latin citare "to summon, urge, call; put in sudden motion, call forward; rouse, excite," frequentative of ciere "to move, set in motion, stir, rouse, call, invite" from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion, to move to and fro" (cognates: Sanskrit cyavate "stirs himself, goes;" Greek kinein "to move, set in motion; change, stir up," kinymai "move myself;" Gothic haitan "call, be called;" Old English hatan "command, call"). Sense of "calling forth a passage of writing" is first attested 1530s. Related: Cited; citing.
citified (adj.) Look up citified at Dictionary.com
1819, American English, from city + past participle ending from words in -fy.
citify (v.) Look up citify at Dictionary.com
1865, probably a back formation from citified. Related: Citifying.
citizen (n.) Look up citizen at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "inhabitant of a city," from Anglo-French citezein (spelling subsequently altered, probably by influence of denizen), from Old French citeien "city-dweller, town-dweller, citizen" (12c., Modern French citoyen), from cite (see city) + -ain (see -ian). Replaced Old English burhsittend and ceasterware. Sense of "inhabitant of a country" is late 14c. Citizen's arrest recorded from 1941; citizen's band (radio) from 1947. Citizen of the world (late 15c.) translates Greek kosmopolites.
citizenry (n.) Look up citizenry at Dictionary.com
"citizens collectively," 1795, from citizen + -ry.
citizenship (n.) Look up citizenship at Dictionary.com
"status, rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a citizen," 1610s, from citizen + -ship.
citric (adj.) Look up citric at Dictionary.com
1800, from Modern Latin citricum (in acidum citricum "citric acid," discovered by Scheele in 1784; see citrus + -ic. The classical adjective was citreus.
citrine (adj.) Look up citrine at Dictionary.com
lemon-colored, late 14c., from French citrin, from Latin citrus (see citrus). From 1879 as a color name.
citron (n.) Look up citron at Dictionary.com
late 14c., also citrine (early 15c.), from Old French citron "citron, lemon" (14c.), possibly from Old Provençal citron, from Latin citrus and influenced by lemon; or else from augmentative of Latin *citrum, related to citrus "citron tree," citreum (malum) "citron" (see citrus).
citronella (n.) Look up citronella at Dictionary.com
1858 in reference to a type of fragrant grass, and especially to the oil it yields, from French citronelle "lemon liquor," from citron (see citrus). Originally an Asiatic grass used in perfumes, later applied to a substance found in lemon oil, etc.
citrus (adj.) Look up citrus at Dictionary.com
1825, from Modern Latin genus name, from Latin citrus "citron tree," name of an African tree with aromatic wood and lemon-like fruit, the first citrus fruit to become available in the West. The name, like the tree, is probably of Asiatic origin [OED]. But Klein traces it to Greek kedros "cedar," and writes that the change of dr into tr shows that the word came from Greek into Latin through the medium of the Etruscans. As a noun, "tree of the genus Citrus," from 1885.
city (n.) Look up city at Dictionary.com
early 13c., in medieval usage a cathedral town, but originally "any settlement," regardless of size (distinction from town is 14c., though in English it always seems to have ranked above borough), from Old French cite "town, city" (10c., Modern French cité), from earlier citet, from Latin civitatem (nominative civitas; in Late Latin sometimes citatem) originally "citizenship, condition or rights of a citizen, membership in the community," later "community of citizens, state, commonwealth" (used, for instance of the Gaulish tribes), from civis "townsman," from PIE root *kei- "to lie; bed, couch; homestead; beloved, dear" (see cemetery).

The sense has been transferred from the inhabitants to the place. The Latin word for "city" was urbs, but a resident was civis. Civitas seems to have replaced urbs as Rome (the ultimate urbs) lost its prestige. Loss of Latin -v- is regular in French in some situations (compare alleger from alleviare; neige from nivea; jeune from juvenis. A different sound evolution from the Latin word yielded Italian citta, Catalan ciutat, Spanish ciudad, Portuguese cidade.

Replaced Old English burh (see borough). London is the city from 1550s. As an adjective from c.1300. City hall first recorded 1670s to fight city hall is 1913, American English; city slicker first recorded 1916 (see slick); both American English. City limits is from 1825. The newspaper city desk attested from 1878. Inner city first attested 1968. City state (also city-state) is attested from 1877.
civet (n.) Look up civet at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Middle French civette (15c.), ultimately (with Italian zibetto, Medieval Latin zibethum, Medieval Greek zapetion) via lost intermediate forms from Arabic zabad "civet," said to be related to zabad "foam, froth," zubd "cream."
civic (adj.) Look up civic at Dictionary.com
1540s, originally mostly in civic crown (Latin corona civica), a chaplet of oak leaves awarded to one who saved the life of a fellow citizen in battle, from Latin civicus "of a citizen," adjectival derivation of civis "townsman" (see city). Sense of "having to do with citizens" is from 1790.
civics (n.) Look up civics at Dictionary.com
"study of the rights and responsibilities of a citizen," 1886, originally American English, from civic, by analogy with politics (see -ics).
civil (adj.) Look up civil at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "relating to civil law or life; pertaining to the internal affairs of a state," from Old French civil "civil, relating to civil law" (13c.) and directly from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen," hence by extension "popular, affable, courteous;" alternative adjectival derivation of civis "townsman" (see city).

The sense of "polite" was in classical Latin, from the courteous manners of citizens, as opposed to those of soldiers. But English did not pick up this nuance of the word until late 16c. "Courteous is thus more commonly said of superiors, civil of inferiors, since it implies or suggests the possibility of incivility or rudeness" [OED]. Civil case (as opposed to criminal) is recorded from 1610s. Civil liberty is by 1640s. Civil service is from 1772, originally in reference to the East India Company.
civil disobedience (n.) Look up civil disobedience at Dictionary.com
coined 1866 by Thoreau as title of an essay originally published (1849) as "Resistance to Civil Government."
civil rights (n.) Look up civil rights at Dictionary.com
1721, American English; specifically of black U.S. citizens from 1866.
civil service (n.) Look up civil service at Dictionary.com
c.1785, originally in reference to non-military staff of the East India Company. Civil servant is from 1800.
civil union (n.) Look up civil union at Dictionary.com
by 2000, the usual U.S. term for legally recognized same-sex unions short of marriage.
civil war (n.) Look up civil war at Dictionary.com
"battles among fellow citizens or within a community," from civil in a sense of "occurring among fellow citizens" attested from late 14c. in batayle ciuile "civil battle," etc. The exact phrase civil war is attested from late 15c. (the Latin phrase was bella civicus).

Early use typically was in reference to ancient Rome. Later, in England, to the struggle between Parliament and Charles I (1641-1651); in U.S., to the War of Secession (1861-1865), an application often decried as wholly inaccurate but in use (among other names) in the North during the war and boosted by the use of the term in the popular "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" series published 1884-87 in "Century Magazine."
"The war between the States," which a good many Southerners prefer, is both bookish and inexact. "Civil war" is an utter misnomer. It was used and is still used by courteous people, the same people who are careful to say "Federal" and "Confederate." "War of the rebellion," which begs the very question at issue, has become the official designation of the struggle, but has found no acceptance with the vanquished. To this day no Southerner uses it except by way of quotation .... "The war of secession" is still used a good deal in foreign books, but it has no popular hold. "The war," without any further qualification, served the turn of Thucydides and Aristophanes for the Peloponnesian war. It will serve ours, let it be hoped, for some time to come. [Basil L. Gildersleeve, "The Creed of the Old South," 1915]
civilian (n.) Look up civilian at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "judge or authority on civil law," from Old French civilien "of the civil law," created from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous" (see civil). Sense of "non-military person" is attested by 1819 (earlier in this sense was civilian, attested from c.1600 as "non-soldier"). The adjective is from 1640s.
civilisation (n.) Look up civilisation at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of civilization. Also see -ize.
civility (n.) Look up civility at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "status of a citizen," from Old French civilite (14c.), from Latin civitatem (nominative civitas) "the art of governing; courteousness," from cvilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous" (see civil). Later especially "good citizenship" (1530s). Also "state of being civilized" (1540s); "behavior proper to civilized persons" (1560s).
civilization (n.) Look up civilization at Dictionary.com
1704, "law which makes a criminal process civil," from civilize + -ation. Sense of "civilized condition" first recorded 1772, probably from French civilisation, to be an opposite to barbarity and a distinct word from civility. Sense of a particular human society in a civilized condition, considered as a whole over time, is from 1857. Related: Civilizational.
civilize (v.) Look up civilize at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "to bring out of barbarism," from French civiliser, verb from Old French civil (adj.), from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous" (see civil). Meaning "become civilized" is from 1868. Related: Civilized; civilizing.
civilized (adj.) Look up civilized at Dictionary.com
1610s, past participle adjective from civilize.
civilly (adv.) Look up civilly at Dictionary.com
1550s, "with reference to citizenship or civil matters," also "in a well-bred manner;" from civil + -ly (2).
civvy (n.) Look up civvy at Dictionary.com
1889, civvies, short for civilian clothes (see civilian (adj.)); in reference to civilian clothes of military men.
clabber (n.) Look up clabber at Dictionary.com
"mud," 1824, from Irish and Gaelic clabar "mud." Also often short for bonnyclabber.
clachan (n.) Look up clachan at Dictionary.com
"small village" (Scottish and Irish), early 15c., from Gaelic clach (plural clachan) "stone."
clack (v.) Look up clack at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., not in Old English, from Old Norse klaka "to chatter," of echoic origin; compare Dutch klakken "to clack, crack," Old High German kleken, French claquer "to clap, crack (see claque). Related: Clacked; clacking.
clack (n.) Look up clack at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from clack (v.).
clad (adj.) Look up clad at Dictionary.com
"clothed," c.1300, mid-13c., from clad, alternative past tense and past participle of clothe. Old English had geclæþd, past participle of clæþan.
claddagh Look up claddagh at Dictionary.com
in Claddagh ring (Irish fáinne Chladach), from village of Claddagh, County Gallway. The village name is literally "stony beach."
clade (n.) Look up clade at Dictionary.com
"group of organisms evolved from a common ancestor," 1957, from Greek klados "young branch, offshoot of a plant, shoot broken off," from PIE *kele-, possibly from root *kel- (1) "to strike, cut" (see holt).
cladism (n.) Look up cladism at Dictionary.com
1966, from clade + -ism. Related: Cladist.
cladistic (adj.) Look up cladistic at Dictionary.com
1960, from clade + -istic. Related: Cladistics "systematic classification of life forms" (1965; see -ics).
claim (v.) Look up claim at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "to call, call out; to ask or demand by virtue of right or authority," from accented stem of Old French clamer "to call, name, describe; claim; complain; declare," from Latin clamare "to cry out, shout, proclaim," from PIE *kele- (2) "to shout," imitative (compare Sanskrit usakala "cock," literally "dawn-calling;" Latin calare "to announce solemnly, call out;" Middle Irish cailech "cock;" Greek kalein "to call," kelados "noise," kledon "report, fame;" Old High German halan "to call;" Old English hlowan "to low, make a noise like a cow;" Lithuanian kalba "language"). Related: Claimed; claiming.

Meaning "to maintain as true" is from 1864; specific sense "to make a claim" (on an insurance company) is from 1897. Claim properly should not stray too far from its true meaning of "to demand recognition of a right."
claim (n.) Look up claim at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "a demand of a right; right of claiming," from Old French claime "claim, complaint," from clamer (see claim (v.)). Meaning "thing claimed or demanded" is from 1792; specifically "piece of land allotted and taken" (chiefly U.S. and Australia, in reference to mining) is from 1851. Insurance sense is from 1878.
claimant (n.) Look up claimant at Dictionary.com
1747, from claim (v.), on model of appellant, defendant, etc., or from French noun use of present participle of clamer.
clair-de-lune (n.) Look up clair-de-lune at Dictionary.com
1877, French, literally "moonlight," also used as "color of moonlight." See clear (adj.) + Luna.
clairaudience (n.) Look up clairaudience at Dictionary.com
1864, from French clair (see clear (adj.)) + audience; on model of clairvoyance.
Claire Look up Claire at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from French claire, fem. of clair literally "light, bright," from Latin clarus "clear, bright, distinct" (see clear (adj.); also compare Clara).
clairvoyance (n.) Look up clairvoyance at Dictionary.com
"paranormal gift of seeing things out of sight," 1837, from special use of French clairvoyance (Old French clerveans, 13c.) "quickness of understanding, sagacity, penetration," from clairvoyant (see clairvoyant). A secondary sense in French is the main sense in English.
clairvoyant (n.) Look up clairvoyant at Dictionary.com
1834 in the psychic sense; see clairvoyant (adj.). Earlier it was used in the sense "clear-sighted person" (1794). Fem. form was Clairvoyante.