pol·​i·​ty | \ ˈpä-lə-tē How to pronounce polity (audio) \
plural polities

Definition of polity

1 : political organization
2 : a specific form of political organization
3 : a politically organized unit
4a : the form or constitution of a politically organized unit
b : the form of government of a religious denomination

Examples of polity in a Sentence

the polities of medieval Italy
Recent Examples on the Web However, to those who believe the salvation of the American polity requires a revival of the ideals of civic republicanism, to modify those of individualistic liberalism, Alexander Hamilton is at best an ambiguous figure. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "The Green New Deal Meets Green Republicanism," 26 Sep. 2019 The Hindu nationalist movement had long been on the fringes of the Indian polity in the years following independence, but had not yet found its way into the mainstream. Sanaya Chandar, Quartz India, "How a 1980s TV soap did the spadework for Hindu nationalism," 8 Nov. 2019 Get our daily newsletter The forces at work in Hungary are eating away at other 21st-century polities, too. The Economist, "The corrupting of democracy," 29 Aug. 2019 Hong Kong, too, can design a process to envision how to operate a successful, liberal society with a high degree of autonomy within China’s polity. The Economist, "Hong Kongers want and deserve a fair society," 20 Aug. 2019 For instance, policies to strengthen families could contribute to the well-being of individual Americans as well as the broader social capital of the polity. Fred Bauer, National Review, "What the Nationalism vs. Liberalism Debate Misses," 28 Aug. 2019 Recognition and respect for personal freedom in a modern polity is an extension of that age-old wisdom. K.n.c., The Economist, "India cannot flourish without individual freedom," 16 Aug. 2019 The first is to move somewhere else — someplace where this sort of thing does not happen anywhere within the polity. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, "The Post-Liberals’ Incoherence," 20 June 2019 For Runciman this process is most advanced in polities like Greece and Japan. Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy and Its Discontents," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polity.' 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 polity

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for polity

Late Latin politia — more at police entry 1

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Time Traveler for polity

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The first known use of polity was in 1538

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Statistics for polity

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Polity.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polity. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for polity


How to pronounce polity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of polity

: something (such as a country or state) that has a government : a politically organized unit
: a form of government

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More from Merriam-Webster on polity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with polity

Nglish: Translation of polity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of polity for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polity

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