adjective pol·i·tic \ ˈpä-lə-ˌtik \

Definition of politic

1 : political
2 : characterized by shrewdness in managing, contriving, or dealing
3 : sagacious in promoting a policy
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”

Recent Examples of politic from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'politic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Politic behavior in class always requires a respectful attitude toward your teacher. It's never politic to ask for a raise when your boss is in a terrible mood. And once teenagers learn to drive, they quickly learn the politic way to ask for the car—that is, whatever gets the keys without upsetting the parents. As you can see, politic can be used for many situations that have nothing to do with public politics.

Origin and Etymology of politic

Middle English politik, from Middle French politique, from Latin politicus, from Greek politikos, from politēs citizen — more at police

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

POLITIC Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of politic for English Language Learners

  • : showing good judgment especially in dealing with other people

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