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n. pl. po·leis (-lās′)
A city-state of ancient Greece.

[Greek; see pelə- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl poleis (ˈpɒlaɪs)
(Historical Terms) an ancient Greek city-state
[from Greek: city]


(Law) Scot and Irish the police or a police officer
[C19: a variant pronunciation of police]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpoʊ lɪs)

n., pl. -leis (-līs).
an ancient Greek city-state.
[1890–95; < Greek pólis, pl. (Ionic) póleis]


a combining form meaning “city” (metropolis), often used in the formation of place names (Annapolis).
[comb. form representing Greek pólis polis]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Greek term for a city-state—an area dominated by and administered from a central fortifiable town.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
References in classic literature ?
chap, v., though as a criticism it is curiously inept, reveals his own attitude admirably: "Let us remember that we should not disregard the experience of ages; in the multitude of years, these things, if they were good, would certainly not have been unknown; for almost everything has been found out, although sometimes they are not put together; in other cases men do not use the knowledge which they have." Aristotle in his Constitutions had made a study of one hundred and fifty-eight constitutions of the states of his day, and the fruits of that study are seen in the continual reference to concrete political experience, which makes the Politics in some respects a critical history of the workings of the institutions of the Greek city state. In Books IV., V., and VI.
War played an important role in the rise and fall of Greek city states, empires and nation-states.
Players would also be wise to choose their armour carefully -- each piece brings with it certain advantages that another set may not have, as they explore the vast, varied landscape of the Greek city states. A number of areas are available for exploration, including the Agora of Athens, the isle of Cephalonia, Ithaca, the birthplace of the legendary Odysseus, the Odeon of Athens, the Foloi oak forest, Olympia, the setting of the ancient Olympic games, as well as renditions of several ancient cities, including Naxos, Lesbos, Argolis, Pnyx, Phocis, Sparta and of course, Athens.
As the ancient Games helped unite warring Greek city states, the Irish team's stunning success in London has helped bring the people of this State together.
He defines the key factor in this civilisation as the concept of individual and civic freedom which emerged as Greek city states grew in distinction to and in defiance of the Persian threat.
Slingers, also known as sphendonetai, have been used in warfare through antiquity, from the Persian Wars and the endless fighting between Greek city states to Alexander the Great's campaigns and the Roman conquest of Britain.