Definition of politics in US English:

politics

plural noun

  • 1treated as singular or plural The 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’
    • ‘Anyone who thinks that local government politics is boring has obviously never been to one of our meetings.’
    • ‘It was a dangerous time to be involved in the Labor Party, as politics and religion proved again to be an explosive mixture.’
    • ‘Thinking for oneself is considered a virtue when applied to areas such as politics or religion.’
    • ‘Power and wealth have been too closely associated with politics.’
    • ‘My background was in retail and accounting, but I'd always been active in politics and local government and the public and private sector.’
    • ‘And you don't see any party in mainstream politics that's got an alternative.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Few Australians join political parties - politics is now the preserve of despised professionals.’
    • ‘But what the Democrats can and must do is stop allowing their opponents a free hand to frame the debate about religion and politics.’
    • ‘Intrigue, sex, politics and power dominate the drama.’
    • ‘It is the Government, it is politics, politicians, and political parties in this House, that are in grievance mode.’
    • ‘We need something besides religion and politics to debate over our beers, lattes, cuppas or sports waters.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘In any war, the main victims are members of the general public who do not have any direct association with politics and power.’
    • ‘There are communities around sports, partying, politics, arts, religion, and so on.’
    • ‘He lets on that he gave up active involvement in politics but what this activity amounted to he doesn't mention.’
    • ‘This move will give council members the opportunity to further pursue and develop their careers in politics and local government.’
    • ‘Yes, there is a gulf between the two halves of Scottish power, business and politics.’
    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 countries.
      ‘in the conduct of global politics, economic status must be backed by military capacity’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They have no idea how to intervene politically in 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.’
      • ‘This is progress of a sort, a small victory for multilateralism and global politics by negotiation.’
      • ‘The Middle East, of course, continues to be a focal point of global politics so the movie had a symbolic topicality as well.’
      • ‘Today it appears that everyone is engaged in global politics.’
      • ‘C'mon boys, there's too little poetry in 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.’
      • ‘Chances are good enough that I will put my foot in my mouth without hazarding down the path of global politics.’
      • ‘The participants at the Cairo conference were commemorating an age when Third World solidarity changed global politics.’
      • ‘Global economics depends on that kind of cooperation; global politics builds on it.’
      • ‘Equally important to me is my deepening and developing interest in national and global politics.’
      • ‘I am heartened by how many protesters there are and the consequent renewed interest in 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.’
      • ‘Because the Americans dominate global politics as no other time in the last, say, 20 years.’
      • ‘What about the relation between cosmology and 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.’
    2. 1.2 The academic study of government and the state.
      as modifier ‘a politics lecturer’
      • ‘He studied politics and history at Glasgow University, and went to Pennslyvania to take a post-graduate course.’
      • ‘She has been offered a place to study politics and modern history at Oxford.’
      • ‘He also lived in Buenos Aires before heading off to Oxford to study politics, philosophy and economics.’
      • ‘The university can only provide a small range of subjects including language, history, politics, law and philosophy.’
      • ‘At 23, he is on the verge of completing a degree in history, politics and social studies.’
      • ‘From the study of history, we are able to develop the study of politics.’
      • ‘She studied law and politics at Nottingham University.’
      • ‘Military strategy includes the studies of society, politics and economics.’
      • ‘It is with this perspective that the editor uses cultural and social material in his study of politics in Libya.’
      • ‘The multi-millionaire has kept close ties with the university where he studied politics from 1971 to 1974.’
      • ‘Era finishes her exams next month and has set her heart on going to Oxford University to study philosophy, politics and economics.’
      • ‘The point was made another way yesterday by Martin Shaw, professor of international relations and politics at Sussex University.’
      • ‘And to think she nearly gave it all up to study politics in Geneva.’
      • ‘It was at Durham University where he was studying politics that he met his wife and the couple married on May 11, 1963.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He lectured on poetry, grammar, history, politics, archaeology, mathematics and astronomy.’
      • ‘The pathways are theology, pastoral studies, social admin, law, 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.’
      • ‘David, a student studying politics and law, voted for the first time last Saturday.’
      • ‘Tracy is a politics and international studies student at Murdoch University.’
      political science, civics, statecraft, statesmanship
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    3. 1.3 Activities 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’
      • ‘It is thus more about politics than policy, and doctors are unlikely to consider this end of term report worthy of top marks.’
      • ‘I mean a machine that will be able to read Shakespeare, grease a car, play office politics, tell a joke, have a fight.’
      • ‘Maybe it's just luck, but those office politics that you hear so much about are nonexistent.’
      • ‘And then there's the considerable amount of office politics associated with the beverage behemoth.’
      • ‘As usual, the old dowager's preoccupation with color and markings had more to do with politics than aesthetics.’
      • ‘Horse race politics dominates the political gabfests, with corporate power shunted to the sidelines.’
      • ‘She wears business suits and plays office politics better than the fellas.’
      • ‘Maybe the rejection by malls and movie theaters is based on aesthetics rather than politics.’
      • ‘Take Silver Owl's advice and never get involved in politics of any kind, by which she really means office politics and ideologies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He said gossip and canny office politics were far more common activities for men than most people realise.’
    4. 1.4 A particular set of political beliefs or principles.
      ‘people do not buy this newspaper purely for its politics’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘German treatments of aesthetics and politics clustered around Benjamin and Adorno.’
      • ‘If we do not change our policies and politics, it will be devastating to all of us worldwide.’
      • ‘I regret that those friendships were forged on bonds made not of trust and care, but of politics and beliefs.’
      • ‘In essence, this means learning the subtle differences between policies and politics.’
      political beliefs, political leanings, political sympathies, political views, party politics, political alliance
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    5. 1.5often 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most young women respond to the politics of women's studies by staying away in droves.’
      • ‘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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Phrases

  • play politics

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

      • ‘A number of innocent lives have already been lost because of this cowardly and dastardly act, yet some people continue to play politics.’
      • ‘Is the premier naive enough to think that American state governments are going to ignore the needs of their people while he plays politics?’
      • ‘Through this period, any of the political parties could have played politics with immigration policies.’
      • ‘Union activists insist that such ministers are simply playing politics with people's lives, but government insiders are preparing to dig in.’
      • ‘Let's try to understand, it is very hard for political people like yourself or like me not to play politics with an issue.’
      • ‘So I don't know if he's just playing politics as other people have claimed.’
      • ‘As usual, the Opposition is prepared only to play politics, rather than support the solution the community wants.’
      • ‘‘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.’

Pronunciation

politics

/ˈpäləˌtiks//ˈpɑləˌtɪks/