noun, plural prin·ci·pal·i·ties.

a state ruled by a prince, usually a relatively small state or a state that falls within a larger state such as an empire.
the position or authority of a prince or chief ruler; sovereignty; supreme power.
the rule of a prince of a small or subordinate state.
the Principality, British. Wales.
principalities, Theology.
  1. an order of angels.Compare angel(def 1).
  2. supramundane powers often in conflict with God. Ephes. 6:12.
Obsolete. preeminence.

Origin of principality

1300–50; Middle English principalite < Old French < Late Latin prīncipālitās first place, superiority (Medieval Latin: authority or territory of a prince). See principal, -ity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for principality

Contemporary Examples of principality

Historical Examples of principality

  • In his life of turmoil and bloodshed he had halted to secure for her the right to a principality.

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • And so you have come back to find that your principality does not exist.

  • Beauty was everywhere, and in portions of the great forest, great as a principality, quiet.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • It is the border of the principality and the passage of it is forbidden.

    Beasts, Men and Gods

    Ferdinand Ossendowski

  • Somebody had persuaded him to believe that I was urging the Bey to close the principality to him.

    The Nabob

    Alphonse Daudet

British Dictionary definitions for principality


noun plural -ties

  1. a territory ruled by a prince
  2. a territory from which a prince draws his title
the dignity or authority of a prince

Word Origin for principality

C14 (in the sense: pre-eminence): via Old French from Latin principālis principal
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 principality

c.1300, "position of a prince," from Old French principalite "principal matter; power, sovereignty" (12c., Modern French principauté), from Late Latin principalitatem (nominative principalitas), from principalis (see principal (adj.)). Meaning "region or state ruled by a prince" is attested from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper