en·​ti·​ty | \ ˈen-tə-tē, ˈe-nə-\
plural entities

Definition of entity

1a : being, existence especially : independent, separate, or self-contained existence
b : the existence of a thing as contrasted with its attributes
2 : something that has separate and distinct existence and objective or conceptual reality
3 : an organization (such as a business or governmental unit) that has an identity separate from those of its members

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Examples of entity in a Sentence

One division of the company was broken off as a separate entity. the question of whether extrasensory perception will ever be a scientifically recognized entity

Recent Examples on the Web

The requirement extends to third parties, if the data collectors share or sell that data with another entity, and the plan would also give the FTC new authority to fine companies that act deceptively with users’ data. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Democratic senators have introduced a big new data privacy plan," 12 Dec. 2018 National parks — which are funded as part of the Interior Department — have long been one of the most visible government entities affected by a shutdown and that could happen again this time around. Li Zhou, Vox, "What’s open — and closed — during a partial government shutdown," 21 Dec. 2018 SpaceX will seek to set a US launch record for most satellites put into space at a single time, with 15 microsats and 49 cubesats from commercial and government entities around the world. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX flies rocket for the third time, will attempt fairing re-use [Updated]," 3 Dec. 2018 Nominees can be public, private, non-profit, government entities. U-t Staff, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Top Workplaces deadline is extended," 12 July 2018 The central bank has the power to influence the economy like no other government entity. Peter Eavis, New York Times, "The Fed Is Usually Off-Limits to the President. Is Trump Changing That?," 5 July 2018 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses data from these government entities to regularly update distribution maps, track emerging threats (like Zika), and coordinate control efforts. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "We Have No Idea How Bad the US Tick Problem Is," 4 July 2018 In Arizona, about a half-dozen local government entities or collectives have joined the litigation. Dennis Wagner, azcentral, "Opioid epidemic: Arizona cities, counties join huge federal suit against pain-med makers," 30 June 2018 The Mandela fellowship introduces African leaders to businesses, government entities and nonprofit organizations in the U.S. for networking and training. Faith E. Pinho, Indianapolis Star, "How Trump’s travel ban kept one Somali man from Indianapolis," 28 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of entity

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for entity

Medieval Latin entitas, from Latin ent-, ens existing thing, from coined present participle of esse to be — more at is

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Statistics for entity

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for entity

The first known use of entity was in 1596

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More Definitions for entity



English Language Learners Definition of entity

: something that exists by itself : something that is separate from other things


en·​ti·​ty | \ ˈen(t)-ət-ē \
plural entities

Medical Definition of entity

: something (as a disease or condition) that has separate and distinct existence and objective or conceptual reality whether the common cold is an entity has been debatedYear Book of Medicine


en·​ti·​ty | \ ˈen-ti-tē \
plural entities

Legal Definition of entity

: an organization (as a business or governmental unit) that has a legal identity which is separate from those of its members — see also alter ego, instrumentality, juridical person, legal person, pierce

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More from Merriam-Webster on entity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with entity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for entity

Spanish Central: Translation of entity

Nglish: Translation of entity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on entity

What made you want to look up entity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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