comity

noun co·mi·ty \ ˈkä-mə-tē , ˈkō- \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of comity

plural comities
1 a : friendly social atmosphere : social harmony
  • group activities promoting comity
  • bipartisan comity in the Senate
b : a loose widespread community based on common social institutions
  • the comity of civilization
c : comity of nations
  • trans-Atlantic comity
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

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Examples of comity in a Sentence

  1. the comity that has always existed among the town's houses of worship

Recent Examples of comity from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 and Etymology of comity

borrowed from Latin cōmitāt-, cōmitās "friendliness, courtesy, graciousness," from cōmis "kind, obliging, gracious" (probably going back to Old Latin cosmis, of uncertain origin) + -itāt- -itās -ity
Note: The Latin word cōmis (Old Latin cosmis, assuming that this word in the Duenos Inscription has been correctly identified) has traditionally been analyzed as *co-smei̯- "draw one's face into a smile," with the Indo-European base *smei̯- "laugh, smile" (see 1smile)—though a derivational mechanism for turning such a verbal compound into an unsuffixed adjective is left unspecified. An alternative explanation as a denominal adjective "having/accompanied by a smile" is possible (of the compound type represented by Greek éntheos "full of/possessed by a deity"), though there is no Indo-European evidence for a corresponding noun *smi- "smile."


Law Dictionary

comity

noun co·mi·ty \ ˈkä-mə-tē, ˈkō- \

legal Definition of comity

2 : the informal and voluntary recognition by courts of one jurisdiction of the laws and judicial decisions of another called also judicial comity; compare choice of law, federalism, full faith and credit

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