Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A territory ruled by a prince or princess or from which such a title is derived.
  • n. The position, authority, or jurisdiction of a prince or princess; sovereignty.
  • n. Christianity The seventh of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology. Also called princedoms.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Sovereignty; supreme power; hence, superiority; predominance; high, or the highest, station.
  • n. A prince; one invested with sovereignty.
  • n. The territory or jurisdiction of a prince; or the country which gives title to a prince.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state or condition of being principal or superior; priority or privilege; prerogative; predominance; preëminence.
  • n. The authority of a prince; sovereignty; supreme power.
  • n. The territory of a prince, or the country which gives title to a prince: as, the principality of Wales; the principality of Montenegro.
  • n. A prince; one invested with sovereignty.
  • n. plural An order of angels. It was the seventh order in the celestial hierarchy of Dionysius. See hierarchy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. territory ruled by a prince

Etymologies

From Anglo-Norman principalté, Middle French principalté, from Late Latin principalitas, from Latin principālis ("principal") + -tas. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Highness to rule save a tract so small that the word principality will be a travesty and a jest.

    Graustark

  • 106 † Antioch, 107 whose situation had been less exposed to the calamities of the holy war, was finally occupied and ruined by Bondocdar, or Bibars, sultan of Egypt and Syria; the Latin principality was extinguished; and the first seat of the Christian name was dispeopled by the slaughter of seventeen, and the captivity of one hundred, thousand of her inhabitants.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • Silver is described as a principality (or series of principalities?), so is it logical that our intrepid heroes can ride through one "district" in a day?

    Now available in one document!

  • The principality is the latest European tax haven to bend to an international outcry over tax evasion.

    LGT Group Quits Tax-Shelter Business

  • Among the notable constructions of the principality are the ancient fortifications, the old ducal palace which contains beautiful frescoes by Annibale Carracci, Orazio Ferrari, and Carlone, the cathedral, built (1884-87) in the Byzantine style, by Prince Albert

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • Twenty-five by one hundred fifty miles, and yet called a principality!

    Graustark

  • One prince, a member of the late ruling family, held possession of Szchuen, which was called the principality of Chow.

    China

  • Napoleonic fashion, into the so-called principality of Wagram.

    A Little Tour of France

  • The constitutional principality, which is roughly the size of New York City's Central Park is home to the world famous Monte Carlo Casino, 13th-century Prince's Palace, F1 Grand Prix and superb shops and dining.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • It is certainly true that when the US or the UK, for example, level accusations that the principality is a 'tax haven' there is an element of hypocrisy, with the large imposing standards on the small that they themselves fail to match.

    The Lawyer - Latest News

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