c. 1300, citisein (fem. citeseine) "inhabitant of a city or town," from Anglo-French citesein, citezein "city-dweller, town-dweller, citizen" (Old French citeien, 12c., Modern French citoyen), from cite (see city) + -ain (see -ian). According to Middle English Compendium, the -s-/-z- in Anglo-French presumably replaced an earlier *-th-.Old English words were burhsittend and ceasterware.
Sense of "freeman or inhabitant of a country, member of the state or nation, not an alien" is late 14c. Meaning "private person" (as opposed to a civil officer or soldier) is from c. 1600. As a title, 1795, from French: During the French Revolution, citoyen was used as a republican alternative to Monsieur.
Citizen's arrest, one carried out by a private person, without a warrant, allowable in certain cases, is recorded from 1941; citizen's band (radio) from 1947. Citizen of the world (late 15c.) translates Latin civem totius mundi, Greek kosmopolites.
He is not a citizen who is not disposed to respect the laws and to obey the civil magistrate; and he is certainly not a good citizen who does not wish to promote, by every means in his power, the welfare of the whole society of his fellow-citizens. [Adam Smith, "Theory of Moral Sentiments"]
"inhabitant of a city," colloquial shortening of citizen, 1640s; especially "a London cockney," as contrasted to a country man or a gentleman, usually with some measure of opprobrium (Johnson defines it as "A pert low townsman; a pragmatical trader").
late 14c., "status of a citizen," from Old French civilite (14c.), from Latin civilis "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).
"man of the world; citizen of the world, one who is cosmopolitan in ideas or life," 1610s, from Latinized form of Greek kosmopolites "citizen of the world," from kosmos "world" (see cosmos) + polites "citizen," from polis "city" (see polis). In common use 17c. in a neutral sense; it faded in 18c. but was revived from c. 1800 with a tinge of reproachfulness (opposed to patriot).
1540s, "pertaining to a city or citizenship," originally 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 derivative of civis "townsman" (see city). Sense of "having to do with citizens" is from 1790.
"imaginary average American citizen," 1934; the Q perhaps suggested by John Quincy Adams.
c. 1600, "to bring out of barbarism, introduce order and civil organization among, refine and enlighten," 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," alternative adjectival derivative of civis "townsman" (see city). Intransitive meaning "become civilized" is from 1868. Related: Civilized; civilizing.