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 But in practice, hairsplitting legal arguments aside, whether the ceiling is legal depends less on the Constitution than raw power politics. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 6 Oct. 2021 That is where the power politics of Russia’s domestic elite come into play. NBC News, 16 Nov. 2021 It can be constrained by its own power politics and some countries have refused to cooperate in cases that implicate them. Angela Dewan, CNN, 25 Nov. 2021 But these days, the Horn of Africa country is an example of another – darker – trend in global power politics, one that portends dire consequences for human rights and potentially opens the door to horrors like ethnic cleansing and genocide. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Oct. 2021 What should be a best-practice approach for the most vulnerable kids died on the altar of power politics. Star Tribune, 3 July 2021 In the 75 years that the United States and Russia have dominated global power politics, their underlying goal has remained remarkably constant: maintaining enough stability and predictability to prevent their differences from sparking a nuclear war. Arkansas Online, 24 June 2021 Anyone trying to keep up with Volkswagen's internal power politics has been busy in recent months. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 18 Mar. 2021 Devoting nearly a decade to defending himself drained Mr. Altman of further ambitions in banking, corporate law or capital power politics. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of power politics

1901, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for power politics

Time Traveler

The first known use of power politics was in 1901

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Dictionary Entries Near power politics

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Statistics for power politics

Last Updated

4 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Power politics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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power politics


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


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