Papal States

plural noun
  1. the areas comprising a large district in central Italy ruled as a temporal domain by the popes from a.d. 755 until the greater part of it was annexed in 1860, by Victor Emmanuel II: the remaining part, Rome and its environs, was absorbed into the kingdom of Italy in 1870.
Compare Vatican City.
Also called States of the Church.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for papal states

Papal States

pl n
  1. the temporal domain of the popes in central Italy from 756 ad until the unification of Italy in 1870Also called: States of the Church
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