princely state

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

princely (from prince 'monarchic ruler' + -ly) + state

Noun[edit]

princely state (plural princely states)

  1. A political state, in the widest sense, which is ruled as or like a principality in the generic sense, regardless of the ruler's actual title and rank
    The term princely states is generally used for the feudal domains of native potentates maintained under indirect rule in European colonies, mainly British India where there were hundreds of them, while Western princes are said to reign over 'principalities'