po·​lit·​i·​cal | \ pə-ˈli-ti-kəl How to pronounce political (audio) \

Essential Meaning of political

1 : of or relating to politics or government the American political system [=the way the American government is officially organized, managed, etc.] The senator has changed political parties. See More ExamplesHealth care has become a major political issue in recent years. a political leader political ambition a group of political activists economic and political power political reform We need a political solution rather than a military solution.Hide
2 : interested in or active in politics She is very political.
3 : involving, concerned with, or accused of acts against a government political prisoners [=people who are put in prison because of their political beliefs and activities] a political crime

Full Definition of political

1a : of or relating to government, a government, or the conduct of government
b : of, relating to, or concerned with the making as distinguished from the administration of governmental policy
2 : of, relating to, involving, or involved in politics and especially party politics
3 : organized in governmental terms political units
4 : involving or charged or concerned with acts against a government or a political system political prisoners

Other Words from political

politically \ pə-​ˈli-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce political (audio) \ adverb

Examples of political in a Sentence

The senator has changed political parties. Health care has become a major political issue in recent years. a group of political activists We need a political solution rather than a military solution.
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Recent Examples on the Web The protest leaders also called for the creation of a voting bloc and said future political candidates should meet with the group. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 Nov. 2021 Joe Garofoli is The San Francisco Chronicle’s senior political writer. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Nov. 2021 Observers have called Tunisia’s political crisis a step back in the country’s democratic transition. Francesca Ebel, ajc, 21 Nov. 2021 The comments were a counter punch to political figures on the right who welcomed the Rittenhouse verdict and condemned his prosecution. Morgan Lee, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Nov. 2021 But both sides need to want to have that discussion, not just use it for their own political gain. NBC News, 21 Nov. 2021 Those on the political left are more apt to describe the migrants as fleeing violence elsewhere. Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, CBS News, 21 Nov. 2021 The first round of voting on Sunday upended the future of a centrist political system that over the last three decades made Chile a global model for free trade and a magnet for foreign investments while slashing poverty. Ryan Dube, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2021 Our political director, Rick Klein, asked her about that Thursday. ABC News, 21 Nov. 2021

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

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First Known Use of political

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for political

politic or its source, Latin polīticus "of civil government, political" + -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for political

Time Traveler

The first known use of political was in 1529

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Dictionary Entries Near political



political action

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Statistics for political

Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Political.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/political. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for political


po·​lit·​i·​cal | \ pə-ˈli-ti-kəl How to pronounce political (audio) \

Kids Definition of political

: relating to the government or the way government is carried on political views

Other Words from political

politically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on political

Nglish: Translation of political for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of political for Arabic Speakers


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