AskDefine | Define polity

Dictionary Definition



1 the form of government of a social organization [syn: civil order]
2 a politically organized unit
3 shrewd or crafty management of public affairs; "we was innocent of stratagems and polity"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An organizational structure of the government of a state, church etc
  2. Politically organized unit, a nation

Extensive Definition

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 include women, slaves, serfs, or resident aliens. Thus, voting citizens usually included only a minority of the adult males.
Today it is usually a general term that refers to the political organization of a group. It is often used to describe a loosely organized society such as a tribe or community, but can mean any political group including a government or empire, corporation or academy. It is also used in the phrase ecclesiastical polity as a synonym of church government.
polity in German: Polity
polity in Korean: 정치적 주체
polity in Macedonian: Политеја
polity in Japanese: 政体
polity in Finnish: Politeia
polity in Portuguese: Politéia

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Everyman, John Doe, Machtpolitik, Public, Realpolitik, Tammany Hall, administration, ally, archduchy, archdukedom, autarky, bimetallism, body politic, bossism, buffer state, captive nation, career politics, chieftaincy, chieftainry, circumspection, circumspectness, citizenry, city-state, civil government, colony, common man, commonweal, commonwealth, community, community at large, confrontation politics, consensus politics, consideration, cool judgment, country, county, course, creed, direction, discipline, discreetness, discretion, discrimination, dispensation, disposition, domain, dominion, duchy, dukedom, earldom, economic self-sufficiency, economics in action, empery, empire, empirical politics, estate, everybody, everyman, everyone, everywoman, folk, folks, form of government, free city, free enterprise, free trade, general public, gentry, good judgment, governance, government, governmentalism, grand duchy, guiding principles, judgment, judiciousness, kid-glove politics, kingdom, laissez-faire, laissez-faireism, land, line, localism, machine politics, managed currency, management, mandant, mandate, mandated territory, mandatee, mandatory, men, nation, nationality, noninterference, nonintervention, nullification, oversight, partisan politics, partisanism, party line, party principle, peanut politics, people, people in general, persons, petty politics, plan of action, planned economy, platform, policy, polis, political organization, politics, populace, population, pork-barrel politics, position, position paper, possession, power, power politics, practical politics, pressure-group politics, price supports, principality, principate, principles, procedure, program, protection, protectionism, protectorate, providence, province, prudence, prudentialism, public, public policy, pump-priming, puppet government, puppet regime, realm, reflection, reflectiveness, reform politics, regime, regimen, regnancy, regulation, reign, republic, rule, satellite, sectionalism, seneschalty, settlement, silk-stocking politics, society, sound judgment, soundness of judgment, sovereign nation, sovereignty, state, sultanate, superpower, supervision, sway, system of government, territory, thoughtfulness, toparchia, toparchy, ward politics, weighing, world, you and me
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