The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
City \Cit"y\ (s[i^]t"[y^]), n.; pl. Cities (s[i^]t"[i^]z).
[OE. cite, F. cit['e], fr. L. civitas citizenship, state,
city, fr. civis citizen; akin to Goth. heiwa (in heiwafrauja
man of the house), AS. h[imac]wan, pl., members of a family,
servants, h[imac]red family, G. heirath marriage, prop.,
providing a house, E. hind a peasant.]
1. A large town.
2. A corporate town; in the United States, a town or
collective body of inhabitants, incorporated and governed
by a mayor and aldermen or a city council consisting of a
board of aldermen and a common council; in Great Britain,
a town corporate, which is or has been the seat of a
bishop, or the capital of his see.
A city is a town incorporated; which is, or has
been, the see of a bishop; and though the bishopric
has been dissolved, as at Westminster, it yet
remaineth a city. --Blackstone
When Gorges constituted York a city, he of course
meant it to be the seat of a bishop, for the word
city has no other meaning in English law. --Palfrey
3. The collective body of citizens, or inhabitants of a city.
"What is the city but the people?" --Shak.
Syn: See Village.