Definition of comity in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmɪti/

noun (plural comities)

1An association of nations for their mutual benefit.
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.1 (also comity of nations) [mass noun] The mutual recognition by nations of the laws and customs of others.
Example sentences
  • 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…
2 [mass noun] Courtesy and considerate behaviour towards others: a show of public comity in the White House
More example sentences
  • 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.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: com¦ity

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.