[ prin-suh-pal-i-tee ]
See synonyms for principality on
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.

  1. the rule of a prince of a small or subordinate state.

  2. the Principality, British. Wales.

  3. principalities, Theology.

    • an order of angels.: Compare angel (def. 1).

    • supramundane powers often in conflict with God. Ephesians 6:12.

  4. Obsolete. preeminence.

Origin of principality

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English principalite, from Old French, from Late Latin prīncipālitās “first place, superiority” (Medieval Latin: “authority or territory of a prince”). See principal, -ity

Words Nearby principality Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use principality in a sentence

  • What happens when an American multinational turns a tiny European principality into a fake war zone?

  • I went out, and found a Mont de Piet, just beyond the limits of the principality; they aren't allowed inside.

  • The Latin principality was extinguished, and the whole existence of the Franks was now confined to the city of Ptolemais.

  • This great man even refused the offer of a principality made to him by Leo X.

    Catherine de' Medici | Honore de Balzac
  • Thus, at the beginning of the eleventh century, the Bishop of the principality was already possessed of extraordinary power.

    Belgium | George W. T. (George William Thomson) Omond
  • Two of his ancestors had been Bishops of Lige, and the family was one of the greatest in the principality.

    Belgium | George W. T. (George William Thomson) Omond

British Dictionary definitions for principality


/ (ˌprɪnsɪˈpælɪtɪ) /

nounplural -ties
    • a territory ruled by a prince

    • a territory from which a prince draws his title

  1. the dignity or authority of a prince

Origin of 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