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citadel (noun) a fortress; a place or a situation in which an ideal, a principle, a system which is thought important is protected.

A small castle or a fortress built in or near a city, and on high ground, where people in the city could protect themselves from an enemy attack is a citadel. Citadels were usually built on high ground or on rocks overseeing the city around, and capable of watching enemy movements. When people think that a place or a situation offers protection to a system, a set of ideals, noble principles, such a place or a situation is referred to as a citadel. For example, a university maintaining high standards of education is regarded as a citadel of academic excellence. The People's Republic of China is the citadel of communist power, whereas the US is often regarded as the citadel of free enterprise and capitalism. That is, if China is a place where Communism is practiced and considered important, the US holds capitalism as important.

  • The citadel built on a high rock at the northern side of the city stands like a sentinel guarding the city.
  • India is decidedly one of the citadels of democracy in Asia and Africa, as most other nations which became independent almost at the same time as India have lapsed into dictatorships.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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