πόλις

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Ancient Greek[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Indo-European *tpolH-, o-grade form of *tpelH- (fortification). The early form πτόλις (ptólis) shows w:Metathesis tp > pt because Ancient Greek stop clusters always end in a coronal. 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 (pólisf (genitive πόλεως); third declension

  1. city
    • 750 BCE – 650 BCE, Hesiod, The Shield of Heracles 270–272
      παρὰ δ’ εὔπυργος πόλις ἀνδρῶν,
      χρῡ́σειαι δέ μιν εἶχον ὑπερθυρίοις ἀραρυῖαι
      ἑπτὰ πύλαι·
      parà d’ eúpurgos pólis andrôn,
      khrū́seiai dé min eîkhon huperthuríois araruîai
      heptà púlai;
      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: city state
  3. community
    1. the state
    2. the right of citizenship
  4. (πόλιν παίζειν) a type of board game

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