Polity Pol"i*ty, n.; pl. {Polities}. [L. politia, Gr. ?: cf. F. politie. See 1st {Policy}, {Police}.] 1. The form or constitution of the civil government of a nation or state; the framework or organization by which the various departments of government are combined into a systematic whole. --Blackstone. Hooker. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence: The form or constitution by which any institution is organized; the recognized principles which lie at the foundation of any human institution. [1913 Webster]

Nor is possible that any form of polity, much less polity ecclesiastical, should be good, unless God himself be author of it. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

3. Policy; art; management. [Obs.] --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Policy.

Usage: {Polity}, {Policy}. These two words were originally the same. Polity is now confined to the structure of a government; as, civil or ecclesiastical polity; while policy is applied to the scheme of management of public affairs with reference to some aim or result; as, foreign or domestic policy. Policy has the further sense of skillful or cunning management. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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