politic (adj.)

early 15c., politike, "pertaining to public affairs, concerning the governance of a country or people," from Old French politique "political" (14c.) and directly from Latin politicus "of citizens or the state, civil, civic," from Greek politikos "of citizens, pertaining to the state and its administration; pertaining to public life," from polites "citizen," from polis "city" (see polis).

It has been replaced in most of the earliest senses by political. From mid-15c. as "prudent, judicious," originally of rulers: "characterized by policy." Body politic "a political entity, a country" (with French word order) is from late 15c.

politic (v.)

also politick, "to engage in political activity," 1917, a back-formation from politics. Related: Politicked; politicking (for the -k- see picnic (v.)).

updated on August 11, 2020

Definitions of politic from WordNet

politic (adj.)
marked by artful prudence, expedience, and shrewdness;
it is neither polite nor politic to get into other people's quarrels
a politic decision
a politic manager
a politic old scoundrel
a shrewd and politic reply
politic (adj.)
smoothly agreeable and courteous with a degree of sophistication;
he was too politic to quarrel with so important a personage
Synonyms: smooth / suave / bland
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.