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principality

[prin-suh-pal-i-tee]
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noun, plural prin·ci·pal·i·ties.
  1. a state ruled by a prince, usually a relatively small state or a state that falls within a larger state such as an empire.
  2. the position or authority of a prince or chief ruler; sovereignty; supreme power.
  3. the rule of a prince of a small or subordinate state.
  4. the Principality, British. Wales.
  5. principalities, Theology.
    1. an order of angels.Compare angel(def 1).
    2. supramundane powers often in conflict with God. Ephes. 6:12.
  6. Obsolete. preeminence.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

sector, city, square, neighborhood, zone, locality, section, county, field, state, territory, township, tribe, democracy, people, union, community, society, public, population

Examples from the Web for principality

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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

principality

noun plural -ties
    1. a territory ruled by a prince
    2. a territory from which a prince draws his title
  1. the dignity or authority of a prince
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Word Origin

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

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper