noun, plural po·leis [poh-lahys] /ˈpoʊ laɪs/.

an ancient Greek city-state.

Nearby words

  1. poliomyelopathy,
  2. poliosis,
  3. poliovirus,
  4. poliovirus hominis,
  5. poliovirus vaccine,
  6. polisario,
  7. polish,
  8. polish corridor,
  9. polish lowland sheepdog,
  10. polish notation

Origin of polis

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


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 pólis polis

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for polis

British Dictionary definitions for polis



noun plural poleis (ˈpɒlaɪs)

an ancient Greek city-state

Word Origin for polis

from Greek: city


Scot and Irish the police or a police officer

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for polis
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper