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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 periodicals archive ?
The Greek city-state of antiquity, because of its small size, went very close to attaining the ideal.
The ancient Greek city-state of Athens included the whole of the Attic peninsula, the region called Attica.
However, this type of self-governance and independence was not in line with Seleucid cities and the concept of polis and Greek city-state. With Parthian government, such concepts and cities gradually removed from socio-political scene of the Iranian society.
It became one of several regional rivals that included republican Rome, Syracuse -- a Sicilian colony of the Greek city-state of Corinth -- and Numidia -- a Berber-Libyan kingdom that throve between 202 and 46 B.C.
In the Greek city-state, democratic self-government was direct, the people in assembly discussed and voted on major public issues.
The story begins with his childhood in the Greek city-state of Troizen and follows him to Athens and Crete before returning him to Athens.
Cults, Territory, and the Origins of the Greek City-State. Translated by Lloyd, J.
His paper seeking to establish the contribution of Phoenician politics to the development the Greek city-state (Bernal 2001) depends to a large extent on some fine points of Marxist theory as Bernal seeks to re-establish the moment of transition between the Asian mode of production (where productive effort was closely managed by the monarch) and slave society (where citizens' ownership of slaves generated the excess production that gave them time to participate in democratic governance of the city-state).
Over the following two centuries Carthage was obliged to send a number of armies to Sicily in order to defend its own and its allies' interests there, particularly from encroachments by the most powerful Greek city-state on the island, Syracuse.
The movie tells the story of Leonidas, king of the Greek city-state of Sparta in the year 480 B.C.
For kids in the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta, discipline and hard work were more rigorous than you might imagine.
Moreover, like American Soldiers, hoplites were citizens of their polis (Greek city-state) and literally fought to maintain their freedom.