[ poh-lis ]
See synonyms for polis on Thesaurus.com
noun,plural po·leis [poh-lahys]. /ˈpoʊ laɪs/.
  1. an ancient Greek city-state.

Origin of polis

1890–95; <Greek pólis, plural (Ionic) póleis

Other definitions for -polis (2 of 2)


  1. a combining form, meaning “city,” appearing in loanwords from Greek (metropolis), and used in the formation of placenames (Annapolis).

Origin of -polis

Combining form representing Greek pólispolis

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use polis in a sentence

  • It would have gone hard with them as they left the cage, but someone whispered, "Here's the polis!"

    The Underworld | James C. Welsh
  • Wan day a captain an' a squad iv polis backed th' wagon up to th' dure iv th' palace an' rung th' bell.

    Mr. Dooley Says | Finley Dunne
  • I 've a bit of paper for you somewhere, from one you know, if them blackguards the 'polis' has not made me lose it.

  • The constitution of the polis is a Phœnician invention, even this has been imitated by the Hellenes.

    We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) | Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Greek polis and the αἱεν ἁριστεὑειν grew up out of mutual enmity.

    We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) | Friedrich Nietzsche

British Dictionary definitions for polis (1 of 2)


/ (ˈpɒlɪs) /

nounplural poleis (ˈpɒlaɪs)
  1. an ancient Greek city-state

Origin of polis

from Greek: city

British Dictionary definitions for polis (2 of 2)


/ (ˈpolɪs) /

  1. Scot and Irish the police or a police officer

Origin of polis

C19: a variant pronunciation of police

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