adjective pol·i·tic \ˈpä-lə-ˌtik\

: showing good judgment especially in dealing with other people

Full Definition of POLITIC

:  political
:  characterized by shrewdness in managing, contriving, or dealing
:  sagacious in promoting a policy
:  shrewdly tactful

Examples of POLITIC

  1. It would not be politic to ignore them.
  2. <the actor is politic in discussing the aborted film project, being content to say that there were creative differences>

Origin of POLITIC

Middle English politik, from Middle French politique, from Latin politicus, from Greek politikos, from politēs citizen — more at police
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of POLITIC

expedient, politic, advisable mean dictated by practical or prudent motives. expedient usually implies what is immediately advantageous without regard for ethics or consistent principles <a politically expedient decision>. politic stresses judiciousness and tactical value but usually implies some lack of candor or sincerity <a politic show of interest>. advisable applies to what is practical, prudent, or advantageous but lacks the derogatory implication of expedient and politic <sometimes it's advisable to say nothing>.

suave, urbane, diplomatic, bland, smooth, politic mean pleasantly tactful and well-mannered. suave suggests a specific ability to deal with others easily and without friction <a suave public relations coordinator>. urbane implies high cultivation and poise coming from wide social experience <an urbane traveler>. diplomatic stresses an ability to deal with ticklish situations tactfully <a diplomatic negotiator>. bland emphasizes mildness of manner and absence of irritating qualities <a bland master of ceremonies>. smooth suggests often a deliberately assumed suavity <a smooth salesman>. politic implies shrewd as well as tactful and suave handling of people <a cunningly politic manager>.

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


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