ˈsi-tē-ˌstāt How to pronounce city-state (audio)
 also  -ˈstāt
: an autonomous state consisting of a city and surrounding territory

Examples of city-state in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Concerns are most pronounced in Singapore, a multiracial city-state with a majority ethnic-Chinese population that is increasingly sympathetic to Beijing. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 In the letter Tuesday night, a lawyer representing Gov. Kathy Hochul faulted Mayor Eric Adams’s management of New York’s migrant crisis in sharp terms, puncturing the appearance of city-state harmony that the two leaders have spent much of their tenures cultivating. Luis Ferré-Sadurní, New York Times, 16 Aug. 2023 With distinctive landmarks, backdrops and atmosphere, the Asian city-state is the ideal location to create a humorous addition to the Tom and Jerry canon. Patrick Frater, Variety, 25 July 2023 Over the last decade, Singapore, a city-state with a population of five million, has quietly become an important partner in this regard. Jude Blanchette, Foreign Affairs, 24 July 2023 Just how the small city-state of less than 6 million people has come to be the preferred venue for top artists is no mystery. Time, 22 June 2023 Russia and the West, laid low by these neo-crusades, have disintegrated into small city-states (California and Moscovia are now sovereign nations), and an air of medieval disorder prevails. Jennifer Wilson, Harper's Magazine, 11 May 2022 Singapore The upscale city-state of Singapore often ranks among the best countries for expats to live and work, thanks to job security, high-quality schools, and one of the world's most efficient public transport systems that can get you all over the city in a jiffy. Lilly Graves, Travel + Leisure, 6 June 2023 At the Shangri-La Dialogue, a leading Asian security forum hosted in this Southeast Asian city-state that concluded over the weekend, that dissonance was palpable. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 6 June 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of city-state was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near city-state

Cite this Entry

“City-state.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a self-governing state consisting of a city and surrounding territory

More from Merriam-Webster on city-state

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