a person who is active in party politics.
a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles.
a person who holds a political office.
a person skilled in political government or administration; statesman or stateswoman.
an expert in politics or political government.
a person who seeks to gain power or advancement within an organization in ways that are generally disapproved.

1580–90; < French politicien. See politic, -ian

nonpolitician, noun
self-politician, noun

4. Politician, statesman refer to one skilled in politics. These terms differ particularly in their connotations; politician is more often derogatory, and statesman laudatory. Politician suggests the schemes and devices of a person who engages in (especially small) politics for party ends or for one's own advantage: a dishonest politician. Statesman suggests the eminent ability, foresight, and unselfish patriotic devotion of a person dealing with (especially important or great) affairs of state: a distinguished statesman.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
politician (ˌpɒlɪˈtɪʃən)
1.  a person actively engaged in politics, esp a full-time professional member of a deliberative assembly
2.  a person who is experienced or skilled in the art or science of politics, government, or administration; statesman
3.  derogatory chiefly (US) a person who engages in politics out of a wish for personal gain, as realized by holding a public office

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1588, from politics (q.v.). Colloquial abbreviated form pol is attested from 1942. Alternative form politico (usually in a derogatory sense) is attested from 1630, from It. or Sp. politico, noun use of adj. meaning "political," from L. politicus (see politic).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Less than a year into office, the businessman-turned-politician has delivered.
He notes that during a campaign, a local politician once.
For any other politician of his age, that would be that, a statesman's final
There's nothing newsworthy in printing a statistic and the obsequiously aped
  concern of a politician.
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