principality

[prin-suh-pal-i-tee]
noun, plural principalities.
1.
a state ruled by a prince, usually a relatively small state or a state that falls within a larger state such as an empire.
2.
the position or authority of a prince or chief ruler; sovereignty; supreme power.
3.
the rule of a prince of a small or subordinate state.
4.
the Principality, British, Wales.
5.
principalities, Theology.
a.
an order of angels. Compare angel ( def 1 ).
b.
supramundane powers often in conflict with God. Ephes. 6:12.
6.
Obsolete, preeminence.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English principalite < Old French < Late Latin prīncipālitās first place, superiority (Medieval Latin: authority or territory of a prince). See principal, -ity

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World English Dictionary
principalities (ˌprɪnsɪˈpælɪtɪz)
 
pl n
(often capital) Also called: princedoms the seventh of the nine orders into which the angels are divided in medieval angelology

principality (ˌprɪnsɪˈpælɪtɪ)
 
n , pl -ties
1.  a.  a territory ruled by a prince
 b.  a territory from which a prince draws his title
2.  the dignity or authority of a prince
 
[C14 (in the sense: pre-eminence): via Old French from Latin principālisprincipal]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

principality
c.1300, "position of a prince," from O.Fr. principalite (Fr. principauté), from L.L. principalitatem (nom. principalitas), from principalis (see principal). Meaning "region or state ruled by a prince" is attested from c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But a continent which was already a patchwork of principalities became in some places a patchwork of calendars.
It was divided up into many different principalities, each one with their own ruler.
For quite the longest time, astronomers thought of the galaxy as a kingdom of independent principalities.
Our four younger brothers and sisters were given lesser principalities.
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