shrewd or prudent in practical matters; tactful; diplomatic.
contrived in a shrewd and practical way; expedient: a politic reply.
political: the body politic.

Origin of politic

1375–1425; late Middle English politik < Middle French politique < Latin polīticus < Greek polītikós civic, equivalent to polī́t(ēs) citizen (see polity) + -ikos -ic
Related formspol·i·tic·ly, adverbo·ver·pol·i·tic, adjectivepre·pol·i·tic, adjectivepseu·do·pol·i·tic, adjectivequa·si-pol·i·tic, adjective
Can be confusedpolitic politicalpolitically politicly

Synonyms for politic

1. astute, ingenius; wary, discreet.

Synonym study

1. See diplomatic.

Antonyms for politic

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

Examples from the Web for politic

Contemporary Examples of politic

Historical Examples of politic

  • It was in vain for the politic father to remonstrate with the headstrong son.

  • First then, of wisdom: the State which we have called into being will be wise because politic.

  • And he was politic—or politician—enough to avoid the subject thenceforward.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • This will be a politic move for the Soviets as well as England.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

  • Between rash duke and politic king there was every show of amity.

British Dictionary definitions for politic



artful or shrewd; ingeniousa politic manager
crafty or unscrupulous; cunninga politic old scoundrel
sagacious, wise, or prudent, esp in statesmanshipa politic choice
an archaic word for political
Derived Formspoliticly, adverb

Word Origin for politic

C15: from Old French politique, from Latin polīticus concerning civil administration, from Greek politikos, from politēs citizen, from polis city
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 politic

early 15c., "pertaining to public affairs," from Middle French politique "political" (14c.) and directly from Latin politicus "of citizens or the state, civil, civic," from Greek politikos "of citizens, pertaining to the state and its administration; pertaining to public life," from polites "citizen," from polis "city" (see polis). Replaced in most adjectival senses by political. From mid-15c. as "prudent, judicious."


also politick, "to engage in political activity," 1917, a back-formation from politics. Related: Politicked; politicking (for the -k- see picnic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper