Civil Right

civil rights

plural noun (often initial capital letters)
1.
rights to personal liberty established by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. constitution and certain Congressional acts, especially as applied to an individual or a minority group.
2.
the rights to full legal, social, and economic equality extended to blacks.

Origin:
1715–25

civil-rights, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
civil rights
 
pl n
1.  the personal rights of the individual citizen, in most countries upheld by law, as in the US
2.  (modifier) of, relating to, or promoting equality in social, economic, and political rights

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

civil rights
1721, Amer.Eng.; specifically of black U.S. citizens from 1866.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

civil rights definition


A broad range of privileges and rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and subsequent amendments and laws that guarantee fundamental freedoms to all individuals. These freedoms include the rights of free expression and action (civil liberties); the right to enter into contracts, own property, and initiate lawsuits; the rights of due process and equal protection of the laws; opportunities in education and work; the freedom to live, travel, and use public facilities wherever one chooses; and the right to participate in the democratic political system.

Note: Efforts to redress the situation of inequality, such as the civil rights movement and the women's movement, have resulted in legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in affirmative action, and in the creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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