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 Like the vast majority of the population here, most of the principality’s Jews were born abroad. Cnaan Liphshiz,, "Outside of Israel, Monaco has highest ratio of world’s Jews," 6 Oct. 2020 Born Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, a principality in modern-day central Germany, in 1729, the czarina-to-be hailed from an impoverished Prussian family whose bargaining power stemmed from its noble connections. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Story of Catherine the Great," 15 May 2020 England, France and a pair of German principalities—teamed up to sack the Netherlands and seize its colonies. The Economist, "A euro row The Dutch grumble over Europe's coronavirus cheque," 18 Apr. 2020 Sliding behind the wheel conjures visions of pulling up to the valet at the Casino de Monte-Carlo, rather than racing through the principality's winding streets in a Formula 1 car. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "2020 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport Is a Luxury Sedan in a Racing Suit," 9 Apr. 2020 Reports from The New York Times suggests that Louisiana is seeing the fastest spread of the novel coronavirus compared to other cities and principalities across the globe, with as much as 2,300 individuals affected by Friday. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Host Hoda Kotb Breaks Down While Interviewing Saints Quarterback Drew Brees About Coronavirus," 27 Mar. 2020 Marie is an events project planner for the principality’s hotel and casino operator, SBM. Stephanie Petit,, "Monaco's Marie Chevallier Was Twinning with Her Mom and Mother-in-Law on Her Royal Wedding Day!," 31 July 2019 The virus appeared to be opening an alarming new front in Africa and also reached at least one European head of state: 62-year-old Prince Albert II of the tiny principality of Monaco. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, "Italy’s coronavirus death toll tops China’s," 19 Mar. 2020 Princes of Wales are not usually known for their knowledge of the principality, and historically the title is about deference to England rather than the power of Wales. Juliet Rieden, Town & Country, "Why Prince Charles Holds the Title of Prince of Wales—and Why He Was So Unpopular In the Beginning," 28 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of principality

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

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Time Traveler for principality

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Principality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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

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