prin·​ci·​pal·​i·​ty | \ ˌprin(t)-sə-ˈpa-lə-tē How to pronounce principality (audio) \
plural principalities

Definition of principality

1a : the state, office, or authority of a prince
b : the position or responsibilities of a principal (as of a school)
2 : the territory or jurisdiction of a prince : the country that gives title to a prince
3 principalities plural : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy

Examples of principality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Once an independent principality, Bohemia was later ruled by the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, and the Austrian Empire. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "Being ‘Bohemian’: Queen’s Vagabond Rhapsody Has Its Roots in a Vanished Kingdom," 2 Nov. 2018 The tiny Mediterranean principality is the world’s most expensive real-estate market according to real-estate firm Savills , with prices averaging $4,457 a square foot in 2017. Adam Bonislawski, WSJ, "Land Goes from ‘Dirt Cheap’ to ‘Pay Dirt’," 19 July 2018 Monaco makes its biennial appearance—this race happens every other year; Formula E and the historic races alternate annually before the famed Formula 1 race takes the streets of this principality. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Formula E starts season 5 in Saudi Arabia with a faster electric race car," 14 Dec. 2018 The princess wore the jeweled badge on a red and white sash—referencing the official colors of the principality's flag—over her dress. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Caroline of Monaco Shut It Down in a Red Caped Dress," 20 Nov. 2018 The latter is a 19th-century hotel built upon a hill, which gives it a 360-degree view of the entire principality. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Gilded Halls and Gorgeous Soufflés: A Guide to Living Large in Monaco," 12 Sep. 2018 The winger has picked up a lot of interest, but nothing concrete has started for his exit from the principality just yet., "Barcelona Take First Step Towards Signing £79m Monaco Star Amid Interest From Chelsea & Atletico," 7 June 2018 Ronaldo's brace that night in the principality cemented his boss' legacy amongst illustrious company in the tournament., "Why Zidane Should Be Remembered as the Champions League's Greatest Head Coach in Wake of Madrid Exit," 31 May 2018 The boy, who is the couple’s second child, will be tenth in line for the principality’s throne. Peter Mikelbank,, "Monaco's Pierre Casiraghi and Beatrice Borromeo Welcome Son — and His Name Is So Classic," 22 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of principality

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about principality

Statistics for principality

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for principality

The first known use of principality was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for principality



English Language Learners Definition of principality

formal : a small area or country that is ruled by a prince


prin·​ci·​pal·​i·​ty | \ ˌprin-sə-ˈpa-lə-tē How to pronounce principality (audio) \
plural principalities

Kids Definition of principality

: a small territory that is ruled by a prince the principality of Monaco

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on principality

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


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!