Definition of politics in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpäləˌtiks/

plural noun

[treated as singular or plural]
1The activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power: the president’s relationship with Congress is vital to American politics thereafter he dropped out of active politics
More example sentences
  • My background was in retail and accounting, but I'd always been active in politics and local government and the public and private sector.
  • He took an active interest in politics and was closely associated with the Fine Gael party for which he was a major fund raiser.
  • The major parties have taken politics and government away from the public!
government, affairs of state, public affairs;
1.1The activities of governments concerning the political relations between countries: in the conduct of global politics, economic status must be backed by military capacity
More example sentences
  • Global economics depends on that kind of cooperation; global politics builds on it.
  • What about the relation between cosmology and global politics?
  • They have no idea how to intervene politically in global politics.
1.2The academic study of government and the state: [as modifier]: a politics lecturer
More example sentences
  • At 23, he is on the verge of completing a degree in history, politics and social studies.
  • Era finishes her exams next month and has set her heart on going to Oxford University to study philosophy, politics and economics.
  • He also lived in Buenos Aires before heading off to Oxford to study politics, philosophy and economics.
1.3Activities within an organization that are aimed at improving someone’s status or position and are typically considered to be devious or divisive: yet another discussion of office politics and personalities
More example sentences
  • But his good work was nipped due to power hungry petty politics in sport, which is the bane in most sport bodies, here.
  • Furthermore, Madam Clarkson should be commended for keeping the office above politics.
  • Take Silver Owl's advice and never get involved in politics of any kind, by which she really means office politics and ideologies.
1.4A particular set of political beliefs or principles: people do not buy this newspaper purely for its politics
More example sentences
  • I regret that those friendships were forged on bonds made not of trust and care, but of politics and beliefs.
  • The authors, however, are hostile to anything that smacks of principled working class politics.
  • If we do not change our policies and politics, it will be devastating to all of us worldwide.
political views, political leanings, party politics
1.5 (often the politics of) The assumptions or principles relating to or inherent in a sphere, theory, or thing, especially when concerned with power and status in a society: the politics of gender
More example sentences
  • It would be ideal to keep communal forces out of politics and power, he added.
  • Although steam and not radiation was to blame, the accident illustrates the contradictions of the politics of nuclear power.
  • It would stretch credibility to see this as a comment on sexual power or the politics of penetration.
power struggle, machinations, maneuvering, opportunism, realpolitik


play politics

Act for political or personal gain rather than from principle.
Example sentences
  • ‘They ought to get on with running the council rather than playing politics with what is happening in the Lib Dem group,’ he said.
  • But then, that would require the First Minister to show some enterprise rather than just play politics.
  • They would rather earn wages than play politics with pointless strikes.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pol·i·tics

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