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[myoo-nis-uh-puh l] /myuˈnɪs ə pəl/
of or relating to a town or city or its local government:
municipal elections.
Archaic. pertaining to the internal affairs of a state or nation rather than to international affairs.
Origin of municipal
1530-40; < Latin mūnicipālis, equivalent to mūnicip- (stem of mūniceps) citizen of a free town (mūni(a) duties + -cip-, combining form of capere to take) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
municipally, adverb
intermunicipal, adjective
nonmunicipal, adjective
nonmunicipally, adverb
premunicipal, adjective
quasi-municipal, adjective
quasi-municipally, adverb
supermunicipal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for municipal


of or relating to a town, city, or borough or its local government
Derived Forms
municipalism, noun
municipalist, noun
municipally, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin mūnicipium a free town, from mūniceps citizen from mūnia responsibilities + capere to take
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 municipal

1540s, from Middle French municipal, from Latin municipalis "of a citizen of a free town, of a free town," also "of a petty town, provincial," from municipium "free town, city whose citizens have the privileges of Roman citizens but are governed by their own laws," from municeps "citizen, inhabitant of a free town." Second element is root of capere "assume, take" (see capable). First element is from munus (plural munia) "service performed for the community, duty, work," also "public spectacle paid for by the magistrate, (gladiatorial) entertainment, gift," from Old Latin moenus "service, duty, burden," from PIE *moi-n-es-, generally taken as a suffixed form of root *mei- "to change, go, move" (Watkins; see mutable); but Tucker says "more probably" from the other PIE root *mei- meaning "bind," so that munia = "obligations" and communis = "bound together."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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