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politician

[pol-i-tish-uh n]
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noun
  1. a person who is active in party politics.
  2. a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles.
  3. a person who holds a political office.
  4. a person skilled in political government or administration; statesman or stateswoman.
  5. an expert in politics or political government.
  6. a person who seeks to gain power or advancement within an organization in ways that are generally disapproved.
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Origin of politician

From the French word politicien, dating back to 1580–90. See politic, -ian
Related formsnon·pol·i·ti·cian, nounself-pol·i·ti·cian, noun

Synonyms

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4. Politician, statesman refer to one skilled in politics. These terms differ particularly in their connotations; politician is more often derogatory, and statesman laudatory. Politician suggests the schemes and devices of a person who engages in (especially small) politics for party ends or for one's own advantage: a dishonest politician. Statesman suggests the eminent ability, foresight, and unselfish patriotic devotion of a person dealing with (especially important or great) affairs of state: a distinguished statesman.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

lawmakersenatorleaderlegislatorofficeholderpartisanbossspeakeroratorpresidentchieftaingrandstanderdemocratrepublicancongresspersonhandshaker

Examples from the Web for politician

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Mr. John Lambert was a millionnaire, a politician, and a widower.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • She was, besides being a gamester and a politician—what do you think?

  • The politician for whom the voter had voted got in by five hundred and fifty-five votes.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • The politician solemnly pointed downwards with his forefinger.

  • His name was Fleming, and he claimed to be a New York politician.


British Dictionary definitions for politician

politician

noun
  1. a person actively engaged in politics, esp a full-time professional member of a deliberative assembly
  2. a person who is experienced or skilled in the art or science of politics, government, or administration; statesman
  3. derogatory, mainly US a person who engages in politics out of a wish for personal gain, as realized by holding a public office
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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 politician

n.

1580s, "person skilled in politics," from politics + -ian. It quickly took on overtones, not typically good ones. Johnson defines it as "A man of artifice; one of deep contrivance."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper