noun, plural pol·i·ties.

a particular form or system of government: civil polity; ecclesiastical polity.
the condition of being constituted as a state or other organized community or body: The polity of ancient Athens became a standard for later governments.
government or administrative regulation: The colonists demanded independence in matters of internal polity.
a state or other organized community or body.

Origin of polity

1530–40; < Latin polītīa < Greek polīteía citizenship, government, form of government, commonwealth, equivalent to polī́te-, variant stem of polī́tēs citizen (see polis, -ite1) + -ia -ia
Can be confusedpolicy polity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for polities

Contemporary Examples of polities

Historical Examples of polities

  • All our polities, philosophies, and religions, grow out of each other.

    Not Guilty

    Robert Blatchford

  • A Conservative in polities, he was elected in 1864 Mayor of Norwich.

    Norfolk Annals

    Charles Mackie

  • You are following the popular avenue to polities, I suppose.

    The Half-Hearted

    John Buchan

  • For thirty-six years of uneasy peace the polities of Europe centred upon that possibility.

  • The other objection I find urged against the beginning of polities, in the way I have mentioned, is this, viz.

British Dictionary definitions for polities


noun plural -ties

a form of government or organization of a state, church, society, etc; constitution
a politically organized society, state, city, etc
the management of public or civil affairs
political organization

Word Origin for polity

C16: from Latin polītīa, from Greek politeia citizenship, civil administration, from politēs citizen, from polis city
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 polities



1530s, from Middle French politie (early 15c.) or directly from Late Latin polita "organized government" (see policy (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper