Definition of client in English:


See synonyms for client

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  • 1A person or organization using the services of a lawyer or other professional person or company.

    ‘insurance tailor-made to a client's specific requirements’
    • ‘It is only by maintaining their independence and professional distance from their clients that lawyers can carry out their proper role.’
    • ‘His client list includes many professional sports and entertainment notables.’
    • ‘It employs over 1,000 dedicated professionals and services a client base of over half a million customers.’
    • ‘It would transform the role of the lawyer - sometimes leading him to say no to a client when a client-centered lawyer would say yes.’
    • ‘It then found the Audit office had no jurisdiction because it was private business between a lawyer and his client and did not involve public money.’
    • ‘This year, he says, the buy includes 10 Organic clients worldwide.’
    • ‘The standard was created to provide an industry benchmark to ensure clients receive a professional, high-quality service.’
    • ‘This service will allow clients to include corporate and branding styles within their presentations.’
    • ‘As a practical matter, business lawyers advise clients on out-of-state law all the time - they just do it from afar.’
    • ‘As well as attending regular meetings during the year, the professionals each invite clients to a Christmas lunch.’
    • ‘Made, however, didn't specify exactly which media organizations his client would be reporting to police.’
    • ‘The company, which is based in Bolton, has a number of corporate clients and professionals including doctors, and dentists.’
    • ‘The three lawyers and the clients were doing all the talking and I knew that Professor Sutherland wasn't going to ask me questions.’
    • ‘I resent that as a defense lawyer; my clients resent it.’
    • ‘Both of the lawyers say that their clients broke no laws.’
    • ‘However, one of the lawyer's clients took a High Court challenge in Britain after a prison governor refused to allow a private meeting.’
    • ‘What makes this territory unique is, as with any small town, the ongoing contact between lawyers and clients outside office hours.’
    • ‘But defence lawyers say their clients only wanted to observe Colombia's now defunct peace process.’
    • ‘And it has been a great experience and we have been working with great lawyers and great clients.’
    • ‘He did an excellent job as a lawyer defending his client, poking holes in the prosecution's case, exactly what a defense attorney should do.’
    customer, buyer, purchaser, shopper, consumer, user
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person receiving social or medical services.
      ‘a client referred for counseling’
      • ‘The result is a cultural competency whose previous absence hindered the chances of success for First Nations clients of social services.’
      • ‘We will be looking to give priority to the more vulnerable members of society, particularly in residential care homes and social services clients.’
      • ‘Of social services clients contacted during the first three months, two thirds were found not to be claiming all the benefits they should be having.’
      • ‘The aims of the day were to promote services and enable referrals to take place between relevant service providers and to reflect on how services deal with clients.’
      • ‘The Community Transport chairman says the name is particularly fitting because that vehicle will be used by the council's Social Services clients.’
      • ‘At this time I also worked on a casual basis in a rural hospital where I dealt with the medical/geriatric clients from that community.’
      • ‘The nonparticipants were clients of local social service agencies or friends of those who had participated in A Journey Toward Womanhood.’
      • ‘For instance, staff in social services offices often have to deal with clients with low personal hygiene.’
      • ‘I was actually relieved to be a Support Worker again as I didn't have so many different clients to deal with and I had more time to build up proper relationships with them.’
      • ‘The withdrawal of Vertex from the call centre means potential clients are now dealing solely with Manpower, which makes for a more straightforward arrangement.’
      • ‘When I met them I thought they were like clients of social workers, and a couple of years ago social services became involved with them due to child-care concerns.’
      • ‘A sister on the ward reports that they have to deal with abusive clients every day.’
      • ‘A spokesman for the clinic, one of a series run by the charity Phoenix House across Britain, said clients had enough to deal with without distraction from the media.’
      • ‘In that time over 5000 clients, mainly dealing with alcohol addiction, have passed through the doors of Aiseirí.’
      • ‘People dealing with foodbank clients report that rent is the single most frequently mentioned reason for seeking help.’
      • ‘Osorio seems to have empathy for all parties - clients, social workers and judges.’
      • ‘Police and housing associations will refer cases to the service, which is a charity, and can also deal with clients who come to them directly.’
      • ‘Shy clients rank threatening social situations, then master the list item by item.’
      • ‘Before treatment, Gillian carries out a careful medical consultation with clients.’
      • ‘The healer should work in co-operation with other health care professionals, including the client's doctor.’
    2. 1.2also client stateA nation that is dependent on another, more powerful nation.
      ‘They are allied, they are not simply a client state.’
      • ‘This would be the first instance I know where a great power (in fact, a superpower) would do the fighting as the proxy of a small client state.’
      • ‘All we could offer in return was our obsequious reliability as client state.’
      • ‘Nationbuilding's effect on a client state can be profound and more enduring than that achieved solely through diplomatic efforts.’
      • ‘In reality, however, the Netherlands became a client state of France in 1795 and was even annexed by the latter in 1810.’
      • ‘Historical analogies to such a relationship between a major power and a client state are hard to come by.’
      • ‘We ran its government as a client state with a puppet king.’
      • ‘As a Soviet client state it boasted an educated population with good roads, clinics and jobs.’
      • ‘The decades after the Second World War, when Albania was the sole European client state of communist China, have left little or no trace in Albanian kitchens.’
      • ‘In any event, the Japanese were left free to set up the client state of Manchukuo, which existed until the Japanese surrender in 1945.’
  • 2Computing
    (in a network) a desktop computer or workstation that is capable of obtaining information and applications from a server.

    ‘workstation clients are going to be easy to install’
    • ‘Users and even integrators will disagree with where lines are drawn between PCs, servers, thin clients, and workstations.’
    • ‘Over the years, Lotus has provided developers with tools for quickly and easily building applications that run across networks of clients and servers.’
    • ‘The computers that run the applications - the clients and servers - are at the edge of the network.’
    • ‘Should the client, the application server, or the database management system perform this processing?’
    • ‘The company's killer product could be the GoodInfo system, an application server for delivering the information to a wireless client.’
    1. 2.1A program that is capable of obtaining a service provided by another program.
      ‘friendly client programs like this enable you to perform complicated actions in just a mouse press or two’
      • ‘This could be your web server, a desktop computer running a database client application, or both.’
      • ‘This indirect access enables the client program to gain access to the data in a database that it would not otherwise be able to access.’
      • ‘In Figure 2, the user interactively queries a client application on a PDA that contains a list of stocks in a portfolio.’
      • ‘An integrated dynamic firewall limits access to the client / server applications on a per-user basis.’
      • ‘Added to this is an optional client / server application that allows a service provider to control it remotely.’
  • 3(in ancient Rome) a plebeian under the protection of a patrician.

    ‘In ancient Rome clients were plebeians who were bound in a subservient relationship with their patrician patron.’
    • ‘He took no active part in the opposition to the Roman invasion of AD43 and was subsequently made a client of Rome.’
    • ‘Trollope is not only recalling the Roman patron/client relationship but also asserting how Fothergill is socially below and subservient to Palliser.’
    1. 3.1 archaic A dependent; a hanger-on.
      child, minor
      hanger-on, leech, passenger, drone
      View synonyms



/ˈklīənt/ /ˈklaɪənt/


Late Middle English from Latin cliens, client-, variant of cluens ‘heeding’, from cluere ‘hear or obey’. The term originally denoted a person under the protection and patronage of another, hence a person ‘protected’ by a legal adviser (client (sense 1)).