Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

politic

play
adjective pol·i·tic \ˈpä-lə-ˌtik\

Simple Definition of politic

  • : showing good judgment especially in dealing with other people

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of politic

  1. 1 :  political

  2. 2 :  characterized by shrewdness in managing, contriving, or dealing

  3. 3 :  sagacious in promoting a policy

  4. 4 :  shrewdly tactful

Examples of politic in a sentence

  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 and Etymology 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>.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up politic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a simplified speech bridging languages

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

lazy frenetic philistine melancholy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ