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principality

[prin-suh-pal-i-tee] /ˌprɪn səˈpæl ɪ ti/
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.
  1. an order of angels.
    Compare angel (def 1).
  2. supramundane powers often in conflict with God. Ephes. 6:12.
6.
Obsolete, preeminence.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English principalite < Old French < Late Latin prīncipālitās first place, superiority (Medieval Latin: authority or territory of a prince). See principal, -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for principality
  • He offers hands-on instruction for achieving stability and a well-run principality.
  • This gave the small principality its territory and political form.
British Dictionary definitions for principality

principality

/ˌprɪnsɪˈpælɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
  1. a territory ruled by a prince
  2. a territory from which a prince draws his title
2.
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 principality
n.

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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