prin·​ci·​pal·​i·​ty ˌprin(t)-sə-ˈpa-lə-tē How to pronounce principality (audio)
plural principalities
: the state, office, or authority of a prince
: the position or responsibilities of a principal (as of a school)
: the territory or jurisdiction of a prince : the country that gives title to a prince
principalities plural : an order of angels see celestial hierarchy

Examples of principality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1876, the principalities of Serbia and Montenegro declared a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire. Jennifer Wilson, The New Yorker, 24 July 2023 Monaco has nibbled greedily at the surrounding waters for decades—since the 1950s, 20 percent of the principality’s surface area has been created this way. Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, 6 Aug. 2023 Here, Legler and company had fashioned a drama-free principality, both exclusive and inviting, where service is the lingua franca. Mike Albo, Town & Country, 1 Dec. 2022 Hartley’s chronological narrative, rich in vivid detail, begins over 1,000 years ago, when the principality of Kievan Rus vied with the Khazar Khaganate and the Bulgars for the lucrative trade on the Volga River. Janet M. Hartley, Foreign Affairs, 22 Feb. 2022 The celebration paid tribute to different principalities with traditional connections to the house of Grimaldi—the royal house of Monaco—and their histories. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 13 June 2023 Liechtenstein is a German-speaking principality double landlocked by Switzerland and Austria. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 12 June 2023 Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel is technically outside of the principality in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, but just a few minutes drive away from the buzz of Place du Casino. Nicola Leigh Stewart, Robb Report, 1 June 2023 With Francois Blanc, seconded by his young German wife Marie, the principality entered the spotlight of the European high society. Cécilia Pelloux, Forbes, 1 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'principality.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near principality

Cite this Entry

“Principality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


prin·​ci·​pal·​i·​ty ˌprin(t)-sə-ˈpal-ət-ē How to pronounce principality (audio)
plural principalities
: a small territory that is ruled by a prince
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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