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[prin-suh-pal-i-tee] /ˌprɪn səˈpæl ɪ ti/
noun, plural principalities.
a state ruled by a prince, usually a relatively small state or a state that falls within a larger state such as an empire.
the position or authority of a prince or chief ruler; sovereignty; supreme power.
the rule of a prince of a small or subordinate state.
the Principality, British, Wales.
principalities, Theology.
  1. an order of angels.
    Compare angel (def 1).
  2. supramundane powers often in conflict with God. Ephes. 6:12.
Obsolete, preeminence.
Origin of principality
1300-50; Middle English principalite < Old French < Late Latin prīncipālitās first place, superiority (Medieval Latin: authority or territory of a prince). See principal, -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for principalities
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for principalities


plural noun
(often capital) the seventh of the nine orders into which the angels are divided in medieval angelology Also called princedoms


noun (pl) -ties
  1. a territory ruled by a prince
  2. a territory from which a prince draws his title
the dignity or authority of a prince
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: pre-eminence): via Old French from Latin principālisprincipal
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 principalities



c.1300, "position of a prince," from Old French principalite "principal matter; power, sovereignty" (12c., Modern French principauté), from Late Latin principalitatem (nominative principalitas), from principalis (see principal (adj.)). Meaning "region or state ruled by a prince" is attested from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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