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[klahy-uh nt] /ˈklaɪ ənt/
a person or group that uses the professional advice or services of a lawyer, accountant, advertising agency, architect, etc.
a person who is receiving the benefits, services, etc., of a social welfare agency, a government bureau, etc.
a customer.
anyone under the patronage of another; a dependent.
Computers. a computer or an application on a computer that communicates with a remote server:
Exit the program before installing the patch to update the client.
(in ancient Rome) a plebeian who lived under the patronage of a patrician.
being a regular customer:
a client company.
economically, and often militarily, dependent upon a more prosperous, more powerful nation.
Origin of client
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin client-, stem of cliēns person seeking the protection or influence of someone powerful; perhaps akin to clīnāre to bend (see incline)
Related forms
[klahy-en-tl, klahy-uh n-tl] /klaɪˈɛn tl, ˈklaɪ ən tl/ (Show IPA),
nonclient, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for client
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A client of mine in Birmingham tells me there's been an enormous number of Russians passing through the Midlands.

    Sonia Between two Worlds Stephen McKenna
  • But he's now the client, the creature of Cardinal Sanguinetti.

  • Des Grassins came to take his client's orders just as the family sat down to dinner.

    Eugenie Grandet Honore de Balzac
  • Arthur Lovell went back to his client, and told him what the girl said.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • My client assured me that he not only had no hand in robbing the mail, but that he tried to dissuade his companions from doing so.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
British Dictionary definitions for client


a person, company, etc, that seeks the advice of a professional man or woman
a customer
a person who is registered with or receiving services or financial aid from a welfare agency
(computing) a program or work station that requests data or information from a server
a person depending on another's patronage
Derived Forms
cliental (klaɪˈɛntəl) adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin cliēns retainer, dependant; related to Latin clīnāre to lean
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for client

late 14c., from Anglo-French clyent (c.1300), from Latin clientem (nominative cliens) "follower, retainer," perhaps a variant of present participle of cluere "listen, follow, obey" (see listen); or, more likely, from clinare "to incline, bend," from suffixed form of PIE root *klei- "to lean" (see lean (v.)).

The ground sense apparently is of one who leans on another for protection. In ancient Rome, a plebian under protection of a patrician (called patronus in this relationship; see patron); in English originally "a lawyer's customer," by c.1600 extended to any customer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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client in Science
A program that runs on a personal computer or workstation connected to a computer network and requests information from a file server.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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client in Technology

A computer system or process that requests a service of another computer system or process (a "server") using some kind of protocol and accepts the server's responses. A client is part of a client-server software architecture.
For example, a workstation requesting the contents of a file from a file server is a client of the file server.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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