Definition of kingdom in US English:



  • 1A country, state, or territory ruled by a king or queen.

    • ‘There has been no more remarkable government for a thousand-year-old kingdom since the first councils of the twelve tribes.’
    • ‘Her mother was a powerful queen who ruled the kingdom with an iron fist.’
    • ‘When he was a young, Oliver married Princess Audrey, the granddaughter of a king from a small kingdom that pays tribute to Charlemagne.’
    • ‘Building large states or polities was difficult under those political conditions, but a number of African chiefs founded national kingdoms, including King Shaka of the Zulu.’
    • ‘The story of Oedipus begins north of ancient Athens, in the kingdom of Thebes where King Laius and his wife, Jocasta, had a son.’
    • ‘In the wake of the Napoleonic wars Italy was divided into a patchwork of kingdoms and duchies.’
    • ‘The Indonesian initiative on security is a leap for the group of kingdoms, communists, juntas and democracies that has long stood by a principle of non-interference in each other's affairs.’
    • ‘In the 1790s, for example, Russia and Prussia partitioned Poland, before that an independent kingdom, between them as part of the maintenance of the balance of power.’
    • ‘Unitary states may be created from a number of republics, kingdoms, and principalities, as with Germany and Italy.’
    • ‘The country became an independent kingdom in 1932 and was proclaimed a republic in 1958, since when it has been run by a series of military strongmen.’
    • ‘But the ruthless rule of the Norman kings meant that the kingdom was less likely to disintegrate than ever.’
    • ‘Great empires, kingdoms and principalities have come and gone, but the Papacy endures.’
    • ‘Rather, the German state resulted from the union of a collection of principalities and kingdoms under the domination of the strongest, Prussia.’
    • ‘The priest announced them to the crowd as the new King and Queen of the kingdom.’
    • ‘What developed were kingdoms - the king had to constantly move around his land in order to show and prove himself to his subjects.’
    • ‘Amid the ruin of the City of Dreams, Mehmed imbibed a valuable lesson about the twilight of nations, empires and kingdoms.’
    • ‘These two kingdoms exist among other small kingdoms, republics and protectorates all of which were created when the great Empire collapsed because of catastrophic asteroid impacts on the planet.’
    • ‘He was usually an authoritative king; ruling his kingdom justly and fairly.’
    • ‘Bright lights illuminate a picture of the ancient kingdom's king and queen, and Xinjiang musical instruments hang on the wall.’
    • ‘When styles of conflict have changed throughout history, kingdoms, empires and nations have been faced with the difficult task of adapting or dying.’
    realm, domain, dominion, country, land, nation, state, sovereign state, province, territory
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    1. 1.1 A realm associated with or regarded as being under the control of a particular person or thing.
      ‘the kingdom of dreams’
      • ‘But this lady seems to be having no trouble doing both, even as she continues her reign in the glamour kingdom.’
      • ‘The numbing effect of this is that we are at risk of becoming, as Manning once said, subjects in the kingdom of nothingness.’
      • ‘And at no point have I heard that the symphonic tunes of a mellow saxophone are particularly associated with the Mormon kingdom.’
      • ‘She instantly let out of a wow forming a big O with her mouth, like I am not supposed to be able to make friends outside the little kingdom of my employer.’
      • ‘Have we become lost in the dream kingdom we helped to build?’
      domain, province, realm, sphere, field of influence, sphere of influence, dominion, area of power, department, territory, field, arena, zone, orbit
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  • 2The spiritual reign or authority of God.

    • ‘That said, obviously the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom.’
    • ‘Its inward sign is the true spiritual kingdom: the covenantal relationship between God and believers.’
    • ‘The kingdom of God is the sphere in which he reigns - the place where his sovereignty and dominion express themselves.’
    • ‘In its religious sense, kingdom is ‘the spiritual reign or authority of God.’’
    • ‘The kingdom is the place where God reigns - where his will is done.’
    1. 2.1 The rule of God or Christ in a future age.
      • ‘Our destiny is not to be disembodied souls, but to be reunited with our bodies in the future kingdom of God.’
      • ‘Against all this, Montanism called the Church to tighten the reigns and repent, for the kingdom of God was now finally at hand.’
      • ‘We preach that in Christ and by Christ the kingdom of God has come and the day of salvation has arrived.’
      • ‘Until then, let us be content - no, let us rejoice - to labour and toil for the kingdom of Christ.’
      • ‘You see, I think that the ultimate triumph of the Cross, of good over evil, will only be complete in the future kingdom of God.’
    2. 2.2 Heaven as the abode of God and of the faithful after death.
      • ‘Living in one sphere they lean into a second, striving toward the kingdom of heaven that remains hidden behind the threshold of the human struggle.’
      • ‘From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
      • ‘Drawing death's sting, you opened the kingdom of heaven to all who would believe.’
      • ‘At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’’
      • ‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.’
  • 3Each of the three traditional divisions (animal, vegetable, and mineral) in which natural objects have conventionally been classified.

    • ‘Until comparatively recently, living organisms were divided into two kingdoms: animal and vegetable, or the Animalia and the Plantae.’
    • ‘This implies that everything shares the same energy, allowing us to treat human diseases with medicines from plant, mineral and animal kingdoms from around the world.’
    • ‘Designers are scouring the animal kingdom for exotic species to turn into bags, shoes and all manner of trendiness.’
    • ‘At the one end, we are reminded what a ghastly thing is Homo sapiens: despoiler of the environment, parasite of the planet, who lords over the animal kingdom with arrogance and cruelty.’
    • ‘As for keeping their numbers down, leave it to mother nature, she'll sort out the animal kingdom the natural way.’
    division, category, classification, grouping, group
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    1. 3.1Biology The highest category in taxonomic classification.
      • ‘They have been identified in various biological kingdoms, however, they seem to be rare in plants.’
      • ‘Such generalities conceal significant taxonomic heterogeneity at the kingdom level.’
      • ‘In a cursory survey of life it is obvious that a vast number of species spanning most kingdoms and phyla have features that are teleologically designed to deal out disease and/or death.’
      • ‘He developed the system whereby every known living creature is assigned to a kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.’
      • ‘On the bright side, if students can get into the vertebrate examples discussed here, maybe some will plumb deeper into other phyla and kingdoms.’


  • come into (or to) one's kingdom

    • Achieve recognition or supremacy.

      • ‘Continuing with Millar's book, one of the most striking passages early on is the almost random way he seems to have come into his kingdom.’
      • ‘He's still quite raw, executing his wonders - those leaps, for instance, which are both thistledown light and precisely chiseled - with the air of a youthful prince or god who hasn't fully realized he's about to come into his kingdom.’
  • till (or until) kingdom come

    • informal Forever.

      • ‘Imagine, just the catering alone would pay for tax shelters for the wealthy until kingdom come.’
      • ‘Well, I can stay here till kingdom come if I want, but I'm not sure yet.’
      • ‘If you leaf through the New Testament from here until kingdom come, you won't find a parable about the good Australian Industrial Relations Commissioner.’
      • ‘They're supposed to go on financing research until kingdom come, not to increase recovery rates, but to pursue knowledge for its own sake.’
      • ‘And present it in such a way that they will avoid challenging you until kingdom come!’
      • ‘Any builder of any worth is booked up from now till kingdom come, and they don't do too badly on the money front either.’
      • ‘We could list all our deficits from now until kingdom come, but I think that the experience in Limerick in particular has shown, that the provision of a university is key!’
      • ‘He knew if he didn't win this race he'd have to put up with his father gloating until kingdom come.’
      • ‘My skills can get me a phone-answering gig in any of several offices for a nice wage and decent medical/dental insurance… but I'll be answering phones until kingdom come.’
      • ‘Our propensity is toward action, not theory or planning until kingdom come.’
      for all time, forever, for good, for always, for good and all, for ever and ever, evermore, for evermore, in perpetuity, lastingly, indelibly, immutably, inalterably, invariably, until the end of time, everlastingly, enduringly, abidingly
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  • to kingdom come

    • informal Into the next world.

      ‘the truck was blown to kingdom come’
      • ‘Both sides, but especially the Italians, used picks, shovels, and dynamite to tunnel deep underneath enemy camps and then blast their adversaries to kingdom come.’
      • ‘The mother, in this respect, came across as more misguided than her daughter, declaring that she would go into Huntingdon and blow the place to kingdom come - if she was ever diagnosed with a fatal disease.’
      • ‘‘If I had been a couple of seconds earlier the car would have collided with me and me and the baby would have been knocked to kingdom come,’ said Mrs Porter.’
      • ‘He would send in the ball like a bullet from the boundary with his powerful arm when fielding, hit it to kingdom come when batting and move it around when bowling.’
      • ‘The game is set in glorious colour and 3D, so you see accurate representations of your targets before you blow them to kingdom come.’
      • ‘Too bad about the innocent women and children blown to kingdom come by the tons of bombs dropped from the B52s.’
      • ‘One solution is to take plenty of explosives, strap them to every part of the construction and blast it to kingdom come.’
      • ‘Prisoners on Thailand's death row are doubtless delighted to know that they are now likely to be killed by lethal injection rather than strapped blindfolded to a pole and blasted to kingdom come by a mounted machine gun.’
      • ‘If I planned to blow us all to kingdom come, would I tell my secret to someone wearing epaulettes?’
      • ‘And as such, it does raise questions about how far a non-ironic war movie can go in asking for peace and understanding while also glorifying the act of blowing the mysterious enemy to kingdom come.’


Old English cyningdōm ‘kingship’ (see king, -dom).