Meaning of civil service

civ'il serv'ice

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. those branches of public service concerned with all governmental administrative functions outside the armed services.
  2. the body of persons employed in these branches.
  3. a system or method of appointing government employees on the basis of competitive examinations, rather than by political patronage.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.