Definition of comity
1 a : friendly social atmosphere : social harmony <group activities promoting comity> b : a loose widespread community based on common social institutions <the comity of civilization> c : comity of nations d : the informal and voluntary recognition by courts of one jurisdiction of the laws and judicial decisions of another
2 : avoidance of proselytizing members of another religious denomination
Examples of comity in a sentence
<the comity that has always existed among the town's houses of worship>
Did You Know?
Our country soweth also in the field of our breasts many precious seeds, as … honest behavior, affability, comity, wrote English clergyman Thomas Becon in 1543. Becon's use is the earliest documented appearance of comity - a word derived from Latin comitas, meaning "courteousness" (and probably related to the Sanskrit word for "he smiles"). Comity is largely used in political and judicial contexts. Since 1862 comity of nations has referred to countries bound by a courteous relationship based on mutual recognition of executive, legislative, and judicial acts. And, in legal contexts, comity refers to the recognition by courts of one jurisdiction of the laws and judicial decisions of another.
Origin of comity
Latin comitat-, comitas, from comis courteous, probably from Old Latin cosmis, from com- + -smis (akin to Sanskrit smayate he smiles) — more at smile
First Known Use: 1543
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