AskDefine | Define politician

Dictionary Definition



1 a leader engaged in civil administration
2 a person active in party politics [syn: politico, pol, political leader]
3 a schemer who tries to gain advantage in an organization in sly or underhanded ways

User Contributed Dictionary




  • a UK /ˈpɒl.ɪ.tɪʃ.ən/, "pQl.I.tIS.@n/


  1. One engaged in politics, especially an elected or appointed government official.
    Politicians should serve the country's interest.
  2. Specifically, one who regards elected political office as a career.
    Unlike the other candidates, I'm not a politician.
  3. A politically active or interested person.
    Only real politicians are interested in this issue.
  4. A sly or ingratiating person.
    There is a politician in every office.
  5. An expert in the work of governments, a political scientist.


one engaged in the politics
political scientist

Extensive Definition

A politician (from Greek "polis") is an individual who is involved in influencing public decision making through the influence of politics or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. This includes people who hold decision-making positions in government, and people who seek those positions, whether by means of election, coup d'état, appointment, electoral fraud, conquest, right of inheritance (see also: divine right) or other means. Politics are not limited to governance through public office. Political offices may also be held in corporations, and other entities that are governed by self-defined political processes.


Considered a politician

  • A person who is active in party politics.
  • In a state, a member of the executive branch of government, or the office of Head of State, as well as the legislative branch, and regional and local levels of government.
  • Any person influencing group opinions in his or her favor can be termed a politician. For example, a worker participating in office politics is a politician, but only so far as the operations of his or her workplace are concerned.
  • Some law enforcement officers, such as sheriffs, and many judges who are elected or appointed because of their political views or popularity.

Not considered a politician

  • Members of government who serve purely functional roles, such as bureaucrats.
  • Members of the judicial branch, law enforcement, and the military are not usually regarded as being politicians since they are generally executing or adjudicating established law and custom.
  • Ordinary citizens with the power to vote cannot properly be called politicians even though they can participate in group decision-making. A politician participates in public debate that leads to a group decision being reached, while a voter is simply responding to that debate.


International equity expert Professor Paul Finn has underlined, “the most fundamental fiduciary relationship in our society is manifestly that which exists between the community (the people) and the state, its agencies and officials. " Many suggest the basic problem of stopping Human Rights violations and political negligence stems from the lack of understanding by media and politicians on the laws of fiduciary control. In equity fiduciary control suggests obligations that not only include duties of good faith and loyalty, but also include duties of skill and competence in managing the people's interests. After all, Government is a trust structure created by people to manage certain services within society with the politicians depended on by the people to do that task. Therefore the relationship between government and it's politicians and the governed is clearly a fiduciary one.
Rules such as Sovereign Immunity and Crown and Judicial Immunity are now being targeted as the very the tools of oppression that are preventing victims from taking action against the people controlling the country who are causing the failure of care. Originating from within the Courts of Equity, the fiduciary concept was partly designed to prevent those holding positions of power from abusing their authority. This new thinking suggests anyone accepting any political or government control over the interests of people should be judged by the most exacting fiduciary standards given politicians are the most important fiduciaries in any society given they hold power over the people with power that comes from the people through elections. The fiduciary relationship arises from the government and its politicians ability to control people with the exercise of that power. In effect the argument is, if politicians have the power to abolish or ignore any rights they should be burdened with the fiduciary duty to protect people's rights because the government (or others engaging politicians on their behalf) would benefit from the exercise of discretion to extinguish rights which it alone had the power to dispose of.
Although members of governing bodies are often honored, many people today have a poor opinion of politicians as a class. Not only do people often disagree with their policies, they are sometimes seen as unscrupulous, willing to do anything to gain power, or abusive of their position and privileges.
Politicians can also be criticized for becoming "career politicians." A politician who makes politics the source of their income, yet has to face re-election every few years can be less likely to make bold decisions or side with an unpopular bill. Some feel that fear of "rocking the boat" leads to a stagnant political climate, in which it becomes hard to address injustices and create change. Various measures have been taken in attempt to mitigate this effect, such as the implementation of term limits.


See also

politician in Tosk Albanian: Politiker
politician in Arabic: سياسي
politician in Bosnian: Političar
politician in Welsh: Gwleidydd
politician in Danish: Politiker
politician in German: Politiker
politician in Estonian: Poliitik
politician in Modern Greek (1453-): Πολιτικός
politician in Spanish: Político
politician in Esperanto: Politikisto
politician in French: Personnalité politique
politician in Korean: 정치인
politician in Indonesian: Politikus
politician in Italian: Politico
politician in Hebrew: פוליטיקאי
politician in Haitian: Politisyen
politician in Kurdish: Ramyar
politician in Malay (macrolanguage): Ahli politik
politician in Dutch: Politicus
politician in Japanese: 政治家
politician in Norwegian Nynorsk: Politikar
politician in Polish: Polityk
politician in Portuguese: Político
politician in Kölsch: Politiker
politician in Romanian: Om politic
politician in Quechua: Kawpaq runa
politician in Russian: Политик
politician in Albanian: Politikani
politician in Simple English: Politician
politician in Slovak: Politik
politician in Slovenian: Politik
politician in Serbo-Croatian: Političar
politician in Finnish: Poliitikko
politician in Swedish: Politiker
politician in Ukrainian: Політик
politician in Venetian: Połitego
politician in Chinese: 政治家

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Admirable Crichton, MP, Machiavel, Machiavellian, Machiavellianist, Member of Parliament, adept, administrator, artisan, artist, attache, authority, bureaucrat, civil servant, congressman, congresswoman, connaisseur, connoisseur, consultant, cordon bleu, crack shot, craftsman, dead shot, diplomat, diplomatist, elder statesman, experienced hand, expert, expert consultant, graduate, handy man, influence peddler, journeyman, lawmaker, legislator, machine politician, marksman, minister, no slouch, office-bearer, official, political hack, political realist, power broker, pro, professional, professor, proficient, public servant, representative, savant, selectman, senator, shark, sharp, statesman, stateswoman, technical adviser, technician
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