[ pol-i-tiks ]
/ ˈpɒl ɪ tɪks /

noun (used with a singular or plural verb)

Nearby words

  1. politicize,
  2. politick,
  3. politicking,
  4. politico,
  5. politico-,
  6. politics makes strange bedfellows,
  7. polity,
  8. politzer bag,
  9. politzerization,
  10. poliziano, angelo


    play politics,
    1. 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.
    2. to deal with people in an opportunistic, manipulative, or devious way, as for job advancement.

Origin of politics

First recorded in 1520–30; see origin at politic, -ics

Related formsan·ti·pol·i·tics, adjectivepro·pol·i·tics, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for play politics


/ (ˈpɒlɪtɪks) /


Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for play politics


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with play politics

play politics

Act for personal or political gain rather than principle, as in I don't think this judge is fair—he's playing politics. [Mid-1800s]


see play politics.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.