[sit-uh-dl, -uh-del]
a fortress that commands a city and is used in the control of the inhabitants and in defense during attack or siege.
any strongly fortified place; stronghold.
(formerly) a heavily armored structure on a warship, for protecting the engines, magazines, etc.

1580–90; < Middle French citadelle < Old Italian cittadella, equivalent to cittad(e) city + -ella -elle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
citadel (ˈsɪtədəl, -ˌdɛl)
1.  a stronghold within or close to a city
2.  any strongly fortified building or place of safety; refuge
3.  a specially strengthened part of the hull of a warship
4.  (often capital) the headquarters of the Salvation Army
[C16: from Old French citadelle, from Old Italian cittadella a little city, from cittade city, from Latin cīvitās]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1586, "fortress commanding a city," from It. cittadella, dim. of cittade "city," from L. civitatem (see city).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They have ventured into the drowsy glades of badly managed companies and they have stormed the citadels of multinationals.
The latter wants to think it is transforming society-if only by tearing down the imagined citadels of privilege.
Citadels have had some success but pirates are now starting to carry the tools needed to gain entry into them.
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