Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Using or marked by prudence, expedience, and shrewdness; artful.
  • adj. Using, displaying, or proceeding from policy; judicious: a politic decision.
  • adj. Crafty; cunning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Shrewd, prudent and expedient.
  • adj. Discreet and diplomatic.
  • adj. Artful, crafty or cunning.
  • n. A politician.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to polity, or civil government; political. See under body.
  • adj. Pertaining to, or promoting, a policy, especially a national policy; well-devised; adapted to its end, whether right or wrong; -- said of things.
  • adj. Sagacious in promoting a policy; ingenious in devising and advancing a system of management; devoted to a scheme or system rather than to a principle; hence, in a good sense, wise; prudent; sagacious; and in a bad sense, artful; unscrupulous; cunning; -- said of persons.
  • n. A politician.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to politics, or the science of government; having to do with politics.
  • Of or pertaining to civil as distinguished from religious or military affairs; civil; political.
  • Hence Of or pertaining to officers of state; official; state.
  • That constitutes the state; consisting of citizens: as, the body politic (that is, the whole body of the people as constituting a state).
  • Existing by and for the state; popular; constitutional.
  • In keeping with policy; wise; prudent; fit; proper; expedient: applied to actions, measures, etc.
  • Characterized by worldly wisdom or craftiness; subtle; crafty; scheming; cunning; artful: applied to persons or their devices: as, a politic prince.
  • n. A politician.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by artful prudence, expedience, and shrewdness
  • adj. smoothly agreeable and courteous with a degree of sophistication

Etymologies

Middle English politik, from Old French politique, from Latin polīticus, political, from Greek polītikos, from polītēs, citizen, from polis, city; see pelə-3 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ancient Greek πολίτης (politēs, "citizen"). (Wiktionary)

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