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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 polity
  • Some belonged as full citizens who took part in governing the polity.
  • And it has no single polity to mediate tensions within and between member countries.
  • In a city of several million inhabitants, those represented a fraction of the polity and even less at the national scale.
  • Take solace in the fact that preventing the polity from doing more damage is the real value added.
  • For the polity to delay, as it is probed for the new consensus is prudent.
  • Deng promotes the polity to resolute at home and open the door to the rest of the world.
  • We should have arguments about whether or not expansions of centralised authorities are bad for the polity.
  • It's good to be reminded that progress continues even when the larger economy and polity are stuck in a rut.
  • Blaming polity has already become the first and the only reaction when some people are thinking about things.
  • Reaching a consensus is becoming impossible, so fragmented is the polity.
British Dictionary definitions for polity


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 polity

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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