1. of, relating to, or concerned with politics: political writers.
  2. of, relating to, or connected with a political party: a political campaign.
  3. exercising or seeking power in the governmental or public affairs of a state, municipality, etc.: a political machine; a political boss.
  4. of, relating to, or involving the state or its government: a political offense.
  5. having a definite policy or system of government: a political community.
  6. of or relating to citizens: political rights.


  1. of or relating to the state, government, the body politic, public administration, policy-making, etc
    1. of, involved in, or relating to government policy-making as distinguished from administration or law
    2. of or relating to the civil aspects of government as distinguished from the military
  2. of, dealing with, or relating to politicsa political person
  3. of, characteristic of, or relating to the parties and the partisan aspects of politics
  4. organized or ordered with respect to governmenta political unit

1550s, “pertaining to a polity, civil affairs, or government;” from Latin politicus “of citizens or the state” (see politic (adj.)) + -al (1). Meaning “taking sides in party politics” (usually pejorative) is from 1749. Political prisoner first recorded 1860; political science is from 1779 (first attested in Hume). Political animal translates Greek politikon zoon (Aristotle, “Politics,” I.ii.9) “an animal intended to live in a city; a social animal.”

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