[ sit-ee-steyt ]

  1. a sovereign state consisting of an autonomous city and, especially historically, any dependent settlements or territories: The Corinthian order of architecture is named for its legendary origin in the ancient Greek city-state of Corinth.Singapore’s role in shaping global entrepreneurship has further strengthened that city-state's position in the world economy.

Origin of city-state

First recorded in 1890–95

Words Nearby city-state Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use city-state in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for city-state


  1. 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