Civil vs. Civilian

By Jaxson

  • Civilian

    A civilian is “a person who is not a member of the military or of a police or firefighting force”. The term “civilian” is slightly different from a non-combatant under the law of war, as some non-combatants are not civilians (for example, military chaplains attached to the belligerent armed forces or neutral military personnel). Under international law, civilians in the territories of a party to an armed conflict are entitled to certain privileges under the customary laws of war and international treaties such as the Fourth Geneva Convention. The privileges that they enjoy under international law depends on whether the conflict is an internal one (a civil war) or an international one.

  • Civil (adjective)

    Having to do with people and government office as opposed to the military or religion.

    “She went into civil service because she wanted to help the people.”

  • Civil (adjective)

    Behaving in a reasonable or polite manner.

    “It was very civil of him to stop the argument.”


  • Civil (adjective)

    Relating to private relations among citizens, as opposed to criminal matters.

    “a civil case”

  • Civil (adjective)

    Naturally good, as opposed to good through regeneration.

  • Civilian (noun)

    A person following the pursuits of civil life, especially one who is not an active member of the armed forces.

    “Three civilians were apprehended by the soldiers and taken away in a military vehicle.”

  • Civilian (noun)

    A person who does not belong to a particular group or engage in a particular activity.

  • Civilian (noun)

    One skilled in civil law.

  • Civilian (noun)

    A student of civil law at a university or college.

  • Civilian (adjective)

    Not related to the military, police or other professions.

    “The three detainees were actually army defectors wearing civilian clothing.”

    “He worked as a civilian journalist for ten years before being employed by the public broadcaster.”


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