noun, plural en·ti·ties.

something that has a real existence; thing: corporeal entities.
being or existence, especially when considered as distinct, independent, or self-contained: He conceived of society as composed of particular entities requiring special treatment.
essential nature: The entity of justice is universality.

Origin of entity

1590–1600; < Medieval Latin entitās, equivalent to enti- (stem of ēns), present participle of esse to be + -tās -ty2
Related formsen·ti·ta·tive [en-ti-tey-tiv] /ˈɛn tɪˌteɪ tɪv/, adjectiveen·ti·ta·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for entity

Contemporary Examples of entity

Historical Examples of entity

  • It would not be in keeping with His economy to have any entity wasted.

  • "The town" was an entity of which each man felt himself a part.

  • But is to lose "one's" chance of attaining soul, self, or entity.

  • This entity was supposed to be 'John King,' the psychic's control.

    The Shadow World

    Hamlin Garland

  • He continues to live, but he has lost his integrity as an entity.

    Cubs of the Wolf

    Raymond F. Jones

British Dictionary definitions for entity


noun plural -ties

something having real or distinct existence; a thing, esp when considered as independent of other things
existence or being
the essence or real nature
Derived Formsentitative (ˈɛntɪtətɪv), adjective

Word Origin for entity

C16: from Medieval Latin entitās, from ēns being; see ens
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

Word Origin and History for entity

1590s, from Late Latin entitatem (nominative entitas), from ens (genitive entis) "a thing," proposed by Caesar as present participle of esse "be" (see is), to render Greek philosophical term to on "that which is" (from neuter of present participle of einai "to be;" see essence). Originally abstract; concrete sense in English is from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper