noun (used with a singular or plural verb)
- to engage in political intrigue, take advantage of a political situation or issue, resort to partisan politics, etc.; exploit a political system or political relationships.
- to deal with people in an opportunistic, manipulative, or devious way, as for job advancement.
Origin of politics
- the policy-formulating aspects of government as distinguished from the administrative, or legal
- the civil functions of government as distinguished from the military
1520s, "science of government," from politic (adj.), modeled on Aristotle's ta politika "affairs of state," the name of his book on governing and governments, which was in English mid-15c. as "Polettiques." Also see -ics.
Politicks is the science of good sense, applied to public affairs, and, as those are forever changing, what is wisdom to-day would be folly and perhaps, ruin to-morrow. Politicks is not a science so properly as a business. It cannot have fixed principles, from which a wise man would never swerve, unless the inconstancy of men's view of interest and the capriciousness of the tempers could be fixed. [Fisher Ames (1758-1808)]
Meaning "a person's political allegiances or opinions" is from 1769.
see play politics.