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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 workstation on a network that gains access to central data files, programs, and peripheral devices through a server.
(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.
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 clients
  • It would be far cheaper to do it all by computer, but that's not what our clients want.
  • His job involves taking clients to ruins and rock-art sites that he has already scouted.
  • Advise clients on application procedures for graduate programs in education, humanities, and social sciences.
  • Nor do all these professors seem to make policy statements contrary to the financial interests of their clients.
  • Yes, those who apply science commercially don't suffer from such delusions, and they're a good many of my clients.
  • Chen discusses the artistic preferences of the gallery's overseas clients.
  • Their colleagues and clients wanted to believe them.
  • The ability to create these opportunities for my clients is what gives them their wings yet keeps them coming back.
  • They are not suited for helping clients to use less energy.
  • Certainly my experience as a clinician is that my clients develop more free will as they recover from their conditions.
British Dictionary definitions for clients


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 clients



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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clients 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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