[ pol-i-tiks ]
See synonyms for politics on Thesaurus.com
noun(used with a singular or plural verb)
  1. the science or art of political government.

  2. the practice or profession of conducting political affairs.

  1. political affairs: The advocated reforms have become embroiled in politics.

  2. political methods or maneuvers: We could not approve of his politics in winning passage of the bill.

  3. political principles or opinions: We avoided discussion of religion and politics. His politics are his own affair.

  4. use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control, as in business, university, etc.

  5. (initial capital letter, italics) a treatise (4th century b.c.) by Aristotle, dealing with the structure, organization, and administration of the state, especially the city-state as known in ancient Greece.

Idioms about politics

  1. play politics,

    • 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

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

Other words from politics

  • an·ti·pol·i·tics, adjective
  • pro·pol·i·tics, adjective

Words Nearby politics

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use politics in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for politics


/ (ˈpɒlɪtɪks) /

  1. (functioning as singular) the practice or study of the art and science of forming, directing, and administrating states and other political units; the art and science of government; political science

  2. (functioning as singular) the complex or aggregate of relationships of people in society, esp those relationships involving authority or power

  1. (functioning as plural) political activities or affairs: party politics

  2. (functioning as singular) the business or profession of politics

  3. (functioning as singular or plural) any activity concerned with the acquisition of power, gaining one's own ends, etc: company politics are frequently vicious

  4. (functioning as plural) opinions, principles, sympathies, etc, with respect to politics: his conservative politics

  5. (functioning as plural)

    • the policy-formulating aspects of government as distinguished from the administrative, or legal

    • the civil functions of government as distinguished from the military

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with politics


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.