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A realm is a community or territory over which a
sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin word ''superānus'', meaning "above". The roles of a sovereign va ...

sovereign
rules. The term is commonly used to describe a
monarchical A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legisl ...
or
dynastic A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). Th ...
state. A realm may also be a subdivision within an
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...

empire
, if it has its own monarch, e.g. the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle wrote in September 1881 that the term "Reich" does not literally connote an empire as has been commonly assumed by English-speaking people. The term "'" literally d ...
.


Etymology

The Old French word ''reaume'', modern French ''royaume'', was the word first adopted in English; the fixed modern spelling does not appear until the beginning of the 17th century. The word supposedly derives from medieval
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
''regalimen'', from ''regalis'', of or belonging to a ''rex'' (king).
Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition The ''Encyclopædia Britannica,'' Eleventh Edition (1910–11), is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the ''Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
article "Realm"
The word ''rex'' itself is derived from the Latin verb ''regere'', which means "to rule". Thus the literal meaning of the word ''realm'' is ''the territory of a ruler'', traditionally a monarch (emperor, king, grand duke, prince, etc.).


Usage

"Realm" is particularly used for those states whose name includes the word ''kingdom'' (for example, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
), as
elegant variation Elegant variation is the replacement of recurring words with synonym A synonym is a word, morpheme, or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word, morpheme, or phrase in the same language. For example, the words ''begin'', ''st ...
, to avoid clumsy repetition of the word in a sentence (for example, "The Queen's realm, the United Kingdom..."). It is also useful to describe those countries whose monarchs are called something other than "king" or "queen"; for example, the
Grand Duchy A grand duchy is a sovereign state, country or territory whose official head of state or ruler is a monarch bearing the title of grand duke or grand duchess. Relatively rare until the abolition of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the term was ofte ...
of
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
is a realm but not a
kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female monarch Taxonomy * Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy Arts an ...
, since its monarch holds the title Grand Duke rather than King. The term may commonly be used to describe any of the "
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent state, equal with the other realms. In 1952, Elizabeth II was the monarch and head of state of seven ind ...
s", which are kingdoms in their own right and share the same person as monarch, though they are fully independent of each other. More broadly, a "realm" may encompass territories that are subject to a monarch, yet are not a physical part of his or her "kingdom"; for example, the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua , coordinates = , largest_city = Avarua , official_languages = , languages_type = Spoken languages , languages = , ethnic_groups = , ethnic_gro ...
and
Niue Niue ( or ; niu, Niuē) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, r ...

Niue
are considered parts of the
Realm of New Zealand The Realm of New Zealand consists of the entire area (or realm) in which the monarch of New Zealand functions as head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Fo ...

Realm of New Zealand
, although they are not part of New Zealand proper. Realm may also be used
metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may provide (or obscure) clarity or identify hidden similarities between two different ideas. Metaphors are often compared with ...
ically to refer to an area of knowledge, expertise or habitat within which an individual or denizen is pre-eminent or dominant, e.g., "Shakespeare's realm was English drama," or "A lion's realm is the jungle".


See also

*
Biogeographical realm A biogeographic realm or ecozone is the broadest biogeographic division of Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms. They are subdivided into ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ec ...
*
Empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...

Empire
*
Kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female monarch Taxonomy * Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy Arts an ...
*
Monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore ...
*
Reich ''Reich'' (; , English: ''Riche'') is a German word analogous in meaning to the English word "realm A realm is a community or territory over which a Sovereignty, sovereign rules. The term is commonly used to describe a Monarchy, monarchical ...

Reich


References

Attribution * {{Authority control __NOTOC__ Monarchy