am·​i·​ty ˈa-mə-tē How to pronounce amity (audio)
plural amities
: friendship
especially : friendly relations between nations
an era of international amity

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The Long History of Amity

Amity comes from the Latin word for "friend," amicus, and is used especially for relationships between political leaders and nations in which goodwill is shown despite differences that might exist between the two parties. Amicus is also the root of the adjectives amiable and amicable.

Examples of amity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Next Generation is its assertion that intergalactic amity can exist only in an atmosphere of stifling formality. Dan Piepenbring, Harper's Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 This initial amity was very short-lived: The prosperous and generous Native American tribes of Southern California were conquered by Spanish settlers, then enslaved by imperious theologians to launch a mission-building campaign that stretched from San Diego to San Francisco. Louis Sahagún, Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2023 The vernacular liturgy, the modern angular church architecture, the emphasis on amity with other Christian churches and other faiths that came after Vatican II were all a good fit with the populous, influential, flexible, and prosperous American Church. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2023 Many have celebrated this newfound amity as the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Kenneth M. Pollack, Foreign Affairs, 19 Apr. 2022 The space station was meant to be a marvel of peaceful post-Cold War amity between Moscow and Washington, drawing Russia into the community of international collaboration and preventing Russian rocket engineers from selling expertise to countries like North Korea seeking to build better missiles. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 In the end, amity won out between the two painters. Christopher Parker, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Apr. 2023 It was returned to Scotland in 1996 by command of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in an act of amity and now comes again to this place by command of King Charles III as an act of unity and a symbol of friendship. Cara Lynn Shultz, Peoplemag, 1 May 2023 Nations like like Indonesia, India, or Brazil, predicated on utopian diversity myths actually have to work very hard to maintain inter-ethnic amity, even in the face of extensive hybridization. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2012

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'amity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English amyte, amiste, borrowed from Anglo-French amité, amisté (earlier and continental Old French amistet, amistiet), going back to Vulgar Latin *amīcitāt-, *amīcitās, alteration (by substitution of the suffix -itāt-, -tās -ity), of Latin amīcitia, from amīcus "friendly, well-disposed" + -itia, suffix forming nouns from adjectives, extended form of -ia -ia entry 1 — more at amiable

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of amity was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near amity

Cite this Entry

“Amity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


am·​i·​ty ˈam-ət-ē How to pronounce amity (audio)
plural amities
: friendship
especially : friendly relations between nations

More from Merriam-Webster on amity

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