Definition of polity in English:



  • 1A form or process of civil government or constitution.

    ‘the civic humanist's polity’
    ‘a vision of a plural Arab polity’
    • ‘Banks and post offices burned as a measure of Arab alienation from Israel's constitutional polity.’
    • ‘The confidence that nonbelievers can reason morally seems to be a precondition for a religiously plural democratic polity.’
    • ‘They faced an enormous task of transforming their economies and polities from centralized communist control to the market economies and pluralist democracies that membership required.’
    • ‘That must be defended at all costs to preserve our pluralism and democratic polity.’
    • ‘It is a reminder that in the democratic polity of India, all doors of justice are not slammed shut at once.’
    1. 1.1 An organized society; a state as a political entity.
      ‘the period in which West Germany was a distinct polity’
      • ‘Only by pushing for a name change can the country build itself as a polity and thereby establish a national identity.’
      • ‘What about the legitimacy of citing the decisions of constitutional courts in other polities?’
      • ‘In other words, in spite of the facade of the modern state, power in most African polities progresses informally, between patron and client along lines of reciprocity.’
      • ‘For example, a democratic polity cannot be militarily attacked unless it directly threatens other states.’
      • ‘In national polities, designers of constitutions have solved this problem by creating institutions for confidential consultation or deliberation.’


Mid 16th century: from obsolete French politie, via Latin from Greek politeia ‘citizenship, government’, from politēs ‘citizen’, from polis ‘city’.