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[den-uh-zuh n] /ˈdɛn ə zən/
an inhabitant; resident.
a person who regularly frequents a place; habitué:
the denizens of a local bar.
British. an alien admitted to residence and to certain rights of citizenship in a country.
anything adapted to a new place, condition, etc., as an animal or plant not indigenous to a place but successfully naturalized.
verb (used with object)
to make a denizen of.
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English denisein < Anglo-French, equivalent to deinz within (Old French; see dedans) + -ein -an
Related forms
denization, denizenation, noun
denizenship, noun
undenizened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for denizens
  • It took years to discover the true landscape of that word, with its night-prowling denizens and emotional quicksand.
  • Apparently there's a wildlife refuge near an old power plant whose denizens grow exceeding large.
  • The vents are both widely spaced and transient, which means their denizens live a precarious existence.
  • But the animal's miniscule size makes it a juicy target for the ocean's larger denizens.
  • The richer denizens of the world consume more of everything-from water to precious metals.
  • From the point of view of its own denizens it is a world of varied adventure and strange compulsion.
  • All other denizens of the same hallway must speak with a united voice.
  • It sounds wrenching: peaceful denizens of a simple land in harmony with their environment, paying for others' wastefulness.
  • Wood storks are tall, white denizens of freshwater or brackish wetlands and swamps.
  • Now a backlash against this cyber myth has begun, even among cyberspace's own denizens.
British Dictionary definitions for denizens


an inhabitant; occupant; resident
(Brit) an individual permanently resident in a foreign country where he enjoys certain rights of citizenship
a plant or animal established in a place to which it is not native
a naturalized foreign word
(transitive) to make a denizen
Word Origin
C15: from Anglo-French denisein, from Old French denzein, from denz within, from Latin de intus from within
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 denizens



early 15c., from Anglo-French deinzein, from deinz "within, inside," from Late Latin deintus, from de- "from" + intus "within" (see ento-). Historically, an alien admitted to certain rights of citizenship; a naturalized citizen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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