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[pol-i-tee] /ˈpɒl ɪ ti/
noun, plural polities.
a particular form or system of government:
civil polity; ecclesiastical polity.
the condition of being constituted as a state or other organized community or body:
The polity of ancient Athens became a standard for later governments.
government or administrative regulation:
The colonists demanded independence in matters of internal polity.
a state or other organized community or body.
Origin of polity
1530-40; < Latin polītīa < Greek polīteía citizenship, government, form of government, commonwealth, equivalent to polī́te-, variant stem of polī́tēs citizen (see polis, -ite1) + -ia -ia
Can be confused
policy, polity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for polities
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Before the war the Southern States were aristocracies, highly educated, and disciplined in the science of polities.

    Black and White Timothy Thomas Fortune
  • All our polities, philosophies, and religions, grow out of each other.

    Not Guilty Robert Blatchford
  • Now, it is undoubtedly the case that most of those who profess to give us authoritative instruction Classification of polities.

  • A Conservative in polities, he was elected in 1864 Mayor of Norwich.

    Norfolk Annals Charles Mackie
  • It will not suffice that we have rejected the foundation of slavery, on which all the Greek polities rested.

    The Evolution of States J. M. Robertson
  • This will unhinge and overturn all polities, and, instead of government and order, leave nothing but anarchy and confusion.

  • As far as polities went, he not only looked for no millennium, but for a reaction in the other direction.

    The Real Adventure Henry Kitchell Webster
British Dictionary definitions for polities


noun (pl) -ties
a form of government or organization of a state, church, society, etc; constitution
a politically organized society, state, city, etc
the management of public or civil affairs
political organization
Word Origin
C16: from Latin polītīa, from Greek politeia citizenship, civil administration, from politēs citizen, from polis city
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 polities



1530s, from Middle French politie (early 15c.) or directly from Late Latin polita "organized government" (see policy (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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