Definition of politics in English:


plural noun

  • 1treated as singular or plural The activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.

    ‘the party quickly gained influence in French politics’
    ‘thereafter he dropped out of active politics’
    • ‘The major parties have taken politics and government away from the public!’
    • ‘It is the Government, it is politics, politicians, and political parties in this House, that are in grievance mode.’
    • ‘And you don't see any party in mainstream politics that's got an alternative.’
    • ‘Few Australians join political parties - politics is now the preserve of despised professionals.’
    • ‘Intrigue, sex, politics and power dominate the drama.’
    • ‘Yes, there is a gulf between the two halves of Scottish power, business and politics.’
    • ‘It was a dangerous time to be involved in the Labor Party, as politics and religion proved again to be an explosive mixture.’
    • ‘This move will give council members the opportunity to further pursue and develop their careers in politics and local government.’
    • ‘There are communities around sports, partying, politics, arts, religion, and so on.’
    • ‘Power and wealth have been too closely associated with politics.’
    • ‘Anyone who thinks that local government politics is boring has obviously never been to one of our meetings.’
    • ‘In any war, the main victims are members of the general public who do not have any direct association with politics and power.’
    • ‘We need something besides religion and politics to debate over our beers, lattes, cuppas or sports waters.’
    • ‘Thinking for oneself is considered a virtue when applied to areas such as politics or religion.’
    • ‘He lets on that he gave up active involvement in politics but what this activity amounted to he doesn't mention.’
    • ‘They also learned to control local politics through power and corruption.’
    • ‘During that time he became active in politics and was elected governor of California in 1966.’
    • ‘My background was in retail and accounting, but I'd always been active in politics and local government and the public and private sector.’
    • ‘But what the Democrats can and must do is stop allowing their opponents a free hand to frame the debate about religion and politics.’
    • ‘He took an active interest in politics and was closely associated with the Fine Gael party for which he was a major fund raiser.’
    government, local government, affairs of state, public affairs, diplomacy, party politics
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    1. 1.1 The activities of governments concerning the political relations between states.
      ‘in the conduct of global politics, economic status must be backed by military capacity’
      • ‘He continues to proudly hold himself as a man of the left, remaining well aware of the political and financial forces at work in global politics.’
      • ‘Chances are good enough that I will put my foot in my mouth without hazarding down the path of global politics.’
      • ‘Peace will not arrive through politics or economic development alone, as crucial as these things are.’
      • ‘States are no longer the key actors in global politics.’
      • ‘Because the Americans dominate global politics as no other time in the last, say, 20 years.’
      • ‘Global economics depends on that kind of cooperation; global politics builds on it.’
      • ‘Today it appears that everyone is engaged in global politics.’
      • ‘So it's not hard to show that some of the same battles that have played out in the entertainment world will soon apply to global politics.’
      • ‘What about the relation between cosmology and global politics?’
      • ‘They have no idea how to intervene politically in global politics.’
      • ‘I am heartened by how many protesters there are and the consequent renewed interest in global politics.’
      • ‘The Middle East, of course, continues to be a focal point of global politics so the movie had a symbolic topicality as well.’
      • ‘The participants at the Cairo conference were commemorating an age when Third World solidarity changed global politics.’
      • ‘Even when he's out smashing bottles, he's both enjoying the badness of it all and making a responsible point about global politics.’
      • ‘Killer 7 has an excellent, although often completely incoherent, storyline about global politics.’
      • ‘Only in 20 years will we be able to look back on any of these events and see their collective effect on global politics.’
      • ‘C'mon boys, there's too little poetry in global politics.’
      • ‘This is progress of a sort, a small victory for multilateralism and global politics by negotiation.’
      • ‘Equally important to me is my deepening and developing interest in national and global politics.’
      • ‘The Academic Council is an organization that has the ear of the United Nations and can help bring clarity in the wake of stormy global politics.’
    2. 1.2 The academic study of government and the state.
      as modifier ‘a politics lecturer’
      • ‘She has been offered a place to study politics and modern history at Oxford.’
      • ‘It was at Durham University where he was studying politics that he met his wife and the couple married on May 11, 1963.’
      • ‘At 23, he is on the verge of completing a degree in history, politics and social studies.’
      • ‘It is with this perspective that the editor uses cultural and social material in his study of politics in Libya.’
      • ‘She studied law and politics at Nottingham University.’
      • ‘He lectured on poetry, grammar, history, politics, archaeology, mathematics and astronomy.’
      • ‘David, a student studying politics and law, voted for the first time last Saturday.’
      • ‘The multi-millionaire has kept close ties with the university where he studied politics from 1971 to 1974.’
      • ‘From the study of history, we are able to develop the study of politics.’
      • ‘He studied politics and history at Glasgow University, and went to Pennslyvania to take a post-graduate course.’
      • ‘The university can only provide a small range of subjects including language, history, politics, law and philosophy.’
      • ‘Tracy is a politics and international studies student at Murdoch University.’
      • ‘The point was made another way yesterday by Martin Shaw, professor of international relations and politics at Sussex University.’
      • ‘Military strategy includes the studies of society, politics and economics.’
      • ‘One lovely young girl is going to university in the autumn to study sociology and politics so that she can make a difference to peoples lives in the future.’
      • ‘Era finishes her exams next month and has set her heart on going to Oxford University to study philosophy, politics and economics.’
      • ‘Just before flying out to Australia she sat two exams as part of the part-time politics degree she is studying for at Loughborough University.’
      • ‘The pathways are theology, pastoral studies, social admin, law, politics and economics.’
      • ‘And to think she nearly gave it all up to study politics in Geneva.’
      • ‘He also lived in Buenos Aires before heading off to Oxford to study politics, philosophy and economics.’
      political science, civics, statecraft, statesmanship
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    3. 1.3 A particular set of political beliefs or principles.
      ‘people do not buy their paper purely for its politics’
      • ‘In essence, this means learning the subtle differences between policies and politics.’
      • ‘German treatments of aesthetics and politics clustered around Benjamin and Adorno.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As much as politics are a common ground, so is grief, and the two of them had that in common as well.’
      • ‘If we do not change our policies and politics, it will be devastating to all of us worldwide.’
      political beliefs, political leanings, political sympathies, political views, party politics, political alliance
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    4. 1.4often the politics of The principles relating to or inherent in a sphere or activity, especially when concerned with power and status.
      ‘the politics of gender’
      • ‘Most young women respond to the politics of women's studies by staying away in droves.’
      • ‘It would stretch credibility to see this as a comment on sexual power or the politics of penetration.’
      • ‘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.’
      power struggle, manipulation, machination, machinations, manoeuvring, jockeying for position, wheeler-dealing, machiavellianism, opportunism, realpolitik
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  • 2Activities aimed at improving someone's status or increasing power within an organization.

    ‘yet another discussion of office politics and personalities’
    • ‘And then there's the considerable amount of office politics associated with the beverage behemoth.’
    • ‘I mean a machine that will be able to read Shakespeare, grease a car, play office politics, tell a joke, have a fight.’
    • ‘It is thus more about politics than policy, and doctors are unlikely to consider this end of term report worthy of top marks.’
    • ‘Maybe the rejection by malls and movie theaters is based on aesthetics rather than politics.’
    • ‘As usual, the old dowager's preoccupation with color and markings had more to do with politics than aesthetics.’
    • ‘Take Silver Owl's advice and never get involved in politics of any kind, by which she really means office politics and ideologies.’
    • ‘Maybe it's just luck, but those office politics that you hear so much about are nonexistent.’
    • ‘But his good work was nipped due to power hungry petty politics in sport, which is the bane in most sport bodies, here.’
    • ‘She wears business suits and plays office politics better than the fellas.’
    • ‘Furthermore, Madam Clarkson should be commended for keeping the office above politics.’
    • ‘He said gossip and canny office politics were far more common activities for men than most people realise.’
    • ‘Horse race politics dominates the political gabfests, with corporate power shunted to the sidelines.’


  • play politics

    • Act for political or personal gain rather than from principle.

      ‘he railed against them for playing politics with the police department’
      • ‘Through this period, any of the political parties could have played politics with immigration policies.’
      • ‘Is the premier naive enough to think that American state governments are going to ignore the needs of their people while he plays politics?’
      • ‘But then, that would require the First Minister to show some enterprise rather than just play politics.’
      • ‘So I don't know if he's just playing politics as other people have claimed.’
      • ‘‘They ought to get on with running the council rather than playing politics with what is happening in the Lib Dem group,’ he said.’
      • ‘Let's try to understand, it is very hard for political people like yourself or like me not to play politics with an issue.’
      • ‘As usual, the Opposition is prepared only to play politics, rather than support the solution the community wants.’
      • ‘Union activists insist that such ministers are simply playing politics with people's lives, but government insiders are preparing to dig in.’
      • ‘They would rather earn wages than play politics with pointless strikes.’
      • ‘A number of innocent lives have already been lost because of this cowardly and dastardly act, yet some people continue to play politics.’