Definition of power politics

: politics based primarily on the use of power (such as military and economic strength) as a coercive force rather than on ethical precepts

Examples of power politics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In government, Power swiftly learned that few officials cared about human rights; many, in fact, deemed them a distraction from more important issues of power politics. Daniel Bessner, The New Republic, "The Fog of Intervention," 4 Sep. 2019 The progression from Project Mercury to Project Gemini to Project Apollo reflected both an expression of power politics and of the power of politics. David Shribman, latimes.com, "50 years after Apollo 11, the moon’s allure still resonates," 11 July 2019 The progression from Project Mercury to Project Gemini to Project Apollo reflected both an expression of power politics and of the power of politics. David Shribman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: 50 years after Apollo 11, the moon’s allure still resonates," 11 July 2019 Nevertheless, the noise created after at least two below-the-radar meetings became known underscores Marechal’s potentially pivotal role in the power politics of the French right. Washington Post, "Rising French far-right star resurfaces and flirts with fire," 8 July 2019 In general, politically minded people on both sides do not think about our nominating system in terms of raw power politics — who gets to pick the nominee? Jay Cost, National Review, "Our Presidential Nomination Process Is Nuts," 1 July 2019 This approach might be viable if Israel were a minor country disconnected from great-power politics. Ilan Berman, WSJ, "Israel’s Dangerous Dalliance With China," 13 Jan. 2019 Whether or not a new perestroika is dawning, Russia’s leaders must outgrow power politics and recognize that force can’t secure their position either at home or abroad. Konstantin Dobrynin, WSJ, "Russia’s Future Is Rapped in an Enigma," 14 Jan. 2019 Chang, Fred and soon Chan Qi as well are victims of Party power politics. Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: Bamboo Bathed in Earthlight," 30 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of power politics

1901, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about power politics

Statistics for power politics

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for power politics

The first known use of power politics was in 1901

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for power politics

power politics

noun

English Language Learners Definition of power politics

: politics based on the use of military or economic power to influence the actions and decisions of other governments

Comments on power politics

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

WORD OF THE DAY

friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!