Main meanings of polis in English

: polis1polis2


Pronunciation /ˈpɒlɪs/

nounplural noun poleis

  • A city state in ancient Greece, especially as considered in its ideal form for philosophical purposes.

    ‘There were several hundred poleis in ancient Greece, many very small.’
    • ‘What we call the ancient Greek world was really hundreds of independent city-states or poleis.’
    • ‘Later these communities were organized into poleis or city-states.’
    • ‘Thucydides goes on to say that the stasis in Corcyra was simply the first, and not the worst, of a wave of civil conflicts that shattered many Greek poleis during the long Peloponnesian War.’
    • ‘The double entendre is not (as so often in Aristophanes) sexual but political; the allied poleis may be living under newly-instituted democracies, but are now effectively controlled by the demos of Athens.’
    • ‘King Darius managed to build up the Persian Empire and now controlled Asia Minor, including Greek poleis on the west coast.’
    • ‘His ultimate goals are unclear, but Epaminondas was loyal to constitutional government and may have genuinely wished similar equality and autonomy for all the poleis of Greece.’
    • ‘The Panathenaia in Periclean Athens had the further purpose of reinforcing the paramountcy of Athens over the members of the Delian League by displaying Athenian power to official visitors from other poleis.’
    • ‘In many poleis, the common hearth of the polis, the koine hestia, which was also an altar-hearth for Hestia, was located in the prytaneion.’
    • ‘The Sophists were a motley bunch - some hailed from the Athenian polis or other city-states, but the majority came from Ionia, in Asia Minor.’
    • ‘The ideal of the polis was that every individual was to take a direct role in political, economic, spiritual and social affairs.’
    • ‘Each city state or polis had its own political organization and thus was truly independent.’
    • ‘The invention of democracy and political rule, and then the tradition of governing by means of political debate among citizens, has its roots in the practices and thought of the Greek polis and the ancient Roman republic.’
    • ‘Rather, philosophy as a reflective practice of examining what passes for truth in the name of truth is something that took place in what the ancient Greeks called the polis, the public realm of political life.’
    • ‘These private porticos are, for us, all that the public faith of the polis was to the ancient Greek - the focus of our compassion.’
    • ‘He says we are by nature political beings, whose capacities are fully realized in a specific kind of political community (a polis or city-state).’
    • ‘Isocrates, on the other hand, appropriates the language of praise as a goading device to strengthen the commitment of his polis to a pan-Hellenic ideal.’
    • ‘As Hegel often notes, the recognition of the ‘subjective moment’ of the free individual is the chief strength of the modern state when compared to the ancient polis.’
    • ‘By the eighth century BC, the Greek city-state, or polis, had taken shape.’
    • ‘The Greeks did not really describe anything which went beyond the polis.’



Main meanings of polis in English

: polis1polis2



Scottish and Irish form of police
‘what you gonnae do, phone the polis?’
  • ‘As promised, the Belgian polis showed zero tolerance and set a standard for policing football supporters, other forces might aspire to.’
  • ‘Not sure if I can make it, but it was well-attended last year, we got mugshot by the polis, which must be the mark of a good demo.’



/ˈpəʊlɪs/ /ˈpɒlɪs/