Definition of politics in English:


Syllabification: pol·i·tics
Pronunciation: /ˈpäləˌtiks


[usually treated as singular]
  • 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; diplomacy
  • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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.
More 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.

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