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[puh-lit-i-kuh l] /pəˈlɪt ɪ kəl/
of, relating to, or concerned with politics:
political writers.
of, relating to, or connected with a political party:
a political campaign.
exercising or seeking power in the governmental or public affairs of a state, municipality, etc.:
a political machine; a political boss.
of, relating to, or involving the state or its government:
a political offense.
having a definite policy or system of government:
a political community.
of or relating to citizens:
political rights.
Origin of political
1545-55; < Latin polītic(us) civic (see politic) + -al1
Related forms
politically, adverb
antipolitical, adjective
antipolitically, adverb
nonpolitical, adjective
nonpolitically, adverb
overpolitical, adjective
overpolitically, adverb
prepolitical, adjective
prepolitically, adverb
pseudopolitical, adjective
quasi-political, adjective
quasi-politically, adverb
subpolitical, adjective
subpolitically, adverb
unpolitical, adjective
unpolitically, adverb
Can be confused
politic, political.
politically, politicly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for politically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nothing mentally or physically or politically imperfect is permitted inside that wire fence.

    The Gay Rebellion Robert W. Chambers
  • Wharton was philosophically, politically, and fashionably profligate.

  • The people have been free, well-educated, and politically great.

  • politically they are entirely in the hands of the Roman Catholic clergy.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • When he is extremely weak, politically, materially, he generally makes some great demonstration of spiritual power.

British Dictionary definitions for politically


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
of, dealing with, or relating to politics: a political person
of, characteristic of, or relating to the parties and the partisan aspects of politics
organized or ordered with respect to government: a political unit
Derived Forms
politically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for politically

1580s, "in a politic manner;" 1630s "in a political manner," from politic or political + -ly (2).



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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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