Pol"i*ty (?), n.; pl. Polities (#). [L. politia, Gr. ?: cf. F. politie. See 1st Policy, Police.] 1. The form or constitution of the civil government of a nation or state; the framework or organization by which the various departments of government are combined into a systematic whole. Blackstone. Hooker.

2. Hence: The form or constitution by which any institution is organized; the recognized principles which lie at the foundation of any human institution.

Nor is possible that any form of polity, much less polity ecclesiastical, should be good, unless God himself be author of it.

3. Policy; art; management. [Obs.] B. Jonson.

Syn. -- Policy. -- Polity, Policy. These two words were originally the same. Polity is now confined to the structure of a government; as, civil or ecclesiastical polity; while policy is applied to the scheme of management of public affairs with reference to some aim or result; as, foreign or domestic policy. Policy has the further sense of skillful or cunning management.