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noun, plural pol·i·ties.
  1. a particular form or system of government: civil polity; ecclesiastical polity.
  2. 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.
  3. government or administrative regulation: The colonists demanded independence in matters of internal polity.
  4. 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. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for polity


noun plural -ties
  1. a form of government or organization of a state, church, society, etc; constitution
  2. a politically organized society, state, city, etc
  3. the management of public or civil affairs
  4. 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 polity

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