πόλις

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Ancient Greek[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Indo-European *tpolH-, o-grade form of *tpelH- (fortification). Cognate with Sanskrit पुर (pura, city) and Lithuanian pilis. Irregular accent on genitive πόλεως (póleōs) is due to a quantitative metathesis from older πόληος (pólēos); genitive plural imitates genitive singular.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

πόλις (pólis) (genitive πόλεως) f, third declension

  1. city
    • 750 BCE – 650 BCE, Hesiod, The Shield of Heracles 270–272
      παρὰ δ᾽ εὔπυργος πόλις ἀνδρῶν,
      χρύσειαι δέ μιν εἶχον ὑπερθυρίοις ἀραρυῖαι
      ἑπτὰ πύλαι·
      Next, there was a city of men with goodly towers; and seven gates of gold, fitted to the lintels, guarded it.
    1. the Athenian citadel
    2. one's city or country
    3. (ὁ ἐπὶ τῆς πόλεως) city governor, praetor urbanus
  2. a whole country, as dependent on and called after its city
  3. community
    1. the state
    2. the right of citizenship
  4. (πόλιν παίζεν) a type of board game

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