mid-15c., "to summon, call upon officially," 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."
Sense of "call forth a passage of writing, quote the words of another" is first attested 1530s. Related: Cited; citing.
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