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[sit-ee-steyt] /ˈsɪt iˌsteɪt/
a sovereign state consisting of an autonomous city with its dependencies.
Origin of city-state
First recorded in 1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for city-state
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The word finance is a slavish word, unknown in the city-state.

    The Social Contract & Discourses

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Rome was, first and last and all the time, a city-state as Athens and Corinth had been city-states in ancient Hellas.

    The Story of Mankind Hendrik Van Loon
  • Local cults rose into prominence as a city-state or ruling family achieved political ascendancy.

  • On the whole, however, he adhered to the Greek city-state (πόλις), partly perhaps out of patriotism to his own Stagira.

  • That school drew its inspiration immediately from Kant and Hegel, and ultimately from the old Greek philosophy of the city-state.

    The Group Mind William McDougall
  • Among the Yoruba, for instance, Frobenius shows that religion and city-state go hand in hand.

    The Negro W.E.B. Du Bois
British Dictionary definitions for city-state


a state consisting of a sovereign city and its dependencies. Among the most famous are the great independent cities of the ancient world, such as Athens, Sparta, Carthage, Thebes, Corinth, and Rome
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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