- an ancient Greek city-state.
Origin of polis
1890–95; < Greek pólis, plural (Ionic) póleis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for poleis
The Demoi and Poleis were political, dealing with the desperate condition of the state and with the allied (or tributary) cities.
- the plural of polis 1
- an ancient Greek city-state
from Greek: city
- Scot and Irish the police or a police officer
C19: a variant pronunciation of police
Word Origin and History for poleis
"ancient Greek city-state," 1894, from Greek polis "city, one's city; the state, citizens," from PIE *pele- "citadel, enclosed space, often on high ground" (cf. Sanskrit pur, puram "city, citadel," Lithuanian pilis "fortress").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper