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.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Polity — (Greek: Πολιτεία or Πολίτευμα transliterated as Politeía or Políteuma ) was originally a term used in Ancient Greece to refer to the many Greek city states that had an assembly of citizens as part of the political process. Suffrage did not… …   Wikipedia

  • polity — I noun body politic, civil constitution, commonwealth, constitution, country, course, form of government, fundamental principles of government, line, nation, nationality, plan of action, platform, policy, principles, procedure, program,… …   Law dictionary

  • polity — (n.) 1530s, from Fr. politie (early 15c.), from L.L. polita organized government (see POLICY (Cf. policy)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • polity — means (1) ‘a form or process of civil government or constitution’, and (2) ‘a society or country as a political entity’. It should not be confused with policy, in its meaning ‘a course or principle of action’ …   Modern English usage

  • polity — ► NOUN (pl. polities) 1) a form or process of civil government or constitution. 2) a state as a political entity. ORIGIN Greek politeia citizenship, government …   English terms dictionary

  • polity — [päl′ə tē] n. pl. polities [MFr politie < L politia: see POLICY1] 1. political or governmental organization 2. a society or institution with an organized government; state; body politic 3. a specific form of church government …   English World dictionary

  • polity —    A church s polity is its form of government. Like the words politics, police, and policy, the word is ultimately derived from the ancient Greek polis, which evokes both the order and the community of the ancient city state. As Protestantism… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Polity — Der Begriff Polity bezeichnet die strukturelle, formelle und institutionelle Dimension von Politik. Die deutschen Bezeichnungen dafür sind Staatsorganisation bzw. institutionelle Ordnung politischer Systeme. Siehe auch Gesellschaftsordnung. Der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • polity — /pol i tee/, n., pl. polities. 1. a particular form or system of government: civil polity; ecclesiastical polity. 2. the condition of being constituted as a state or other organized community or body: The polity of ancient Athens became a… …   Universalium

  • polity — [[t]pɒ̱lɪti[/t]] polities N COUNT A polity is an organized society, such as a nation, city, or church, together with its government and administration. [FORMAL] In the United States, citizenship rested on choices by individuals about the polity… …   English dictionary

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