Definition of comity in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkämədē/ /ˈkɑmədi/


  • 1formal An association of nations for their mutual benefit.

    ‘The comity between Canada and the United States is testimony to the strength of liberal peace.’
    • ‘It is, in essence, similar in approach to the agreement concluded with the United States, and takes the same approach towards comity.’
    • ‘Secondly, that the undertaking was issued for reasons of comity between nations.’
    • ‘No, the story makes clear that the majority of Canadians still oppose the war; this has more to do with the long tradition of Canadian-American comity.’
    • ‘It is about state comity and cooperation, and mutual respect.’
    • ‘Consequently, the qualification reflects the need for comity between the institutions of government.’
    • ‘From these conversations we can be led to common action - for our shared environment, for human rights, for the simple enjoyment of comity.’
    • ‘From them we seek no advice or comity, and to them we will give no quarter.’
    friendship, friendliness, peace, peacefulness, peaceableness, harmony, harmoniousness, understanding, accord, concord, concurrence, cooperation, amicableness, goodwill, cordiality, warmth, geniality, fellowship, fraternity, brotherhood, brotherliness
    1. 1.1The mutual recognition by nations of the laws and customs of others.
      ‘Working together, we shall ensure that this ancient, sacred land of ours regains its rightful place in the comity of nations.’
      • ‘France was made to disgorge the enormous gains she had made under Napoleon, but there was no attempt to reduce her to a second-rate power and she was speedily welcomed back into the comity of nations.’
      • ‘This is the cruel reality of what passes for an " international community " and the comity of nations…’
      • ‘It would also raise the status of India in the comity of nations.’
      • ‘It is upon this comity of nations that international legal assistance rests.’
      • ‘The reason that we and other countries have such rules is to respect comity between nations.’
      • ‘But comity is more a custom than an obligation, and neither the states nor the federal government are compelled to extend the courtesy to every couple wed abroad.’
      • ‘Promote international cooperation and respect for comity among the Courts.’
      • ‘But judicial comity requires restraint, based on mutual respect not only for the integrity of one another's process, but also for one another's procedural and substantive laws.’
      • ‘But it is important to recognise the nature of the rules of comity in public international law.’
      • ‘The principle of comity will gain increasing importance as the courts of several jurisdictions must deal with parallel litigation that impacts upon the citizens across those several jurisdictions.’
      • ‘When this happens our courts are not considered to act in breach of comity.’
      • ‘Again Magnusson says that Scott tried ‘to manipulate history to suit the Enlightenment views: the 1707 Act of Union had brought Scotland into the comity of civilised nations’.’
      • ‘Well in some respects this is a welcome back to the comity of cricket nations for South Africa.’
      • ‘Only such a place, free from its terrorists and morally corrupt people would deserve a place in the comity of modern nations.’
      • ‘That at the heart of it is an international comity, reinforced perhaps by international law, that we respect each other's right to govern the internal economy of their ships.’
  • 2formal Courtesy and considerate behavior toward others.

    ‘a show of public comity in the White House’
    • ‘Considerations of comity arise in the one case but not in the other.’
    • ‘They are the important considerations of comity and convenience.’
    • ‘It would be nice if we could have some civility and comity for awhile; this is exhausting and mostly unproductive.’
    • ‘The issue is fundamentally one of the fitness of things - of the comity of my learned friends appearing on both sides of the table, as it were, in respect of what is fundamentally the same factual matrix.’
    • ‘No doubt, they tend to promote more comity in public debates through prior association.’
    • ‘In calling for civility, courage, compassion, and character, he spoke to the desire of many for greater national comity and citizen accountability.’
    • ‘Unlike other countries where sectarian conflicts have flared among members of different religious groups, religious comity in the country is enviable.’
    • ‘Still she scorns the producers for excluding a black presence in a film, which she says was ‘meant to restore America's sense of comity, joint endeavor, and high moral purpose.’’
    • ‘He doesn't want compromise and comity.’
    courtesy, courteousness, politeness, good manners, mannerliness, gentlemanliness, chivalry, gallantry, graciousness, consideration, respect, gentility


Mid 16th century (in comity (sense 2)): from Latin comitas, from comis ‘courteous’.