English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɒləsi/, /ˈpɒlɪsi/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpɑləsi/
  • (file)

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle French policie, from Late Latin politia (citizenship; government), classical Latin polītīa (in Cicero), from Ancient Greek πολιτεία (politeía, citizenship; polis, (city) state; government), from πολίτης (polítēs, citizen). Compare police and polity.

Noun edit

policy (countable and uncountable, plural policies)

  1. A principle of behaviour, conduct etc. thought to be desirable or necessary, especially as formally expressed by a government or other authoritative body. [from 15th c.]
    The Communist Party has a policy of returning power to the workers.
    It's company policy that all mobile phones are forbidden in meetings.
  2. Wise or advantageous conduct; prudence, formerly also with connotations of craftiness. [from 15th c.]
    • 1639, Thomas Fuller, “King Richard Taken Prisoner in Austria; Sold and Sent to the Emperour; Dearly Ransomed, Returneth Home”, in The Historie of the Holy Warre, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: [] Thomas Buck, one of the printers to the Universitie of Cambridge [and sold by John Williams, London], →OCLC, book III, page 130:
      [H]e [Richard I of England] was diſcovered in an inne in Auſtria, becauſe he diſguiſed his perſon not his expenſes; ſo that the very policie of an hoſteſſe, finding his purſe ſo farre above his clothes, did detect him: []
    • 1813 January 27, [Jane Austen], chapter XI, in Pride and Prejudice: [], volume II, London: [] [George Sidney] for T[homas] Egerton, [], →OCLC, page 131:
      These bitter accusations might have been suppressed, had I with greater policy concealed my struggles, and flattered you into the belief of my being impelled by unqualified, unalloyed inclination; []
  3. (now rare) Specifically, political shrewdness or (formerly) cunning; statecraft. [from 15th c.]
  4. (Scotland, now chiefly in the plural) The grounds of a large country house. [from 18th c.]
    • 1775, Samuel Johnson, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland section on Aberbrothick
      Now and then about a gentleman’s house stands a small plantation, which in Scotch is called a policy, but of these there are few, and those few all very young.
    • 1886 May 1 – July 31, Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped, being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751: [], London, Paris: Cassell & Company, published 1886, →OCLC:
      There was but one thing happened worth narrating; and that is the visit I had of Robin Oig, one of the sons of the notorious Rob Roy. He was sought upon all sides on a charge of carrying a young woman from Balfron and marrying her (as was alleged) by force; yet he stepped about Balquhidder like a gentleman in his own walled policy.
    • 1955, Robin Jenkins, The Cone-Gatherers, Canongate, published 2012, page 36:
      Next morning was so splendid that as he walked through the policies towards the mansion house despair itself was lulled.
  5. (obsolete) The art of governance; political science. [14th–18th c.]
  6. (obsolete) A state; a polity. [14th–16th c.]
  7. (obsolete) A set political system; civil administration. [15th–19th c.]
  8. (obsolete) A trick; a stratagem. [15th–19th c.]
  9. (obsolete) Motive; object; inducement.
Derived terms edit
Descendants edit
  • Burmese: ပေါ်လစီ (paula.ci)
Translations edit

Verb edit

policy (third-person singular simple present policies, present participle policying, simple past and past participle policied)

  1. (transitive) To regulate by laws; to reduce to order.

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle French police, from Italian polizza, from Medieval Latin apodissa (receipt for money), from Ancient Greek ἀπόδειξις (apódeixis, proof, declaration).

Noun edit

policy (plural policies)

  1. (law)
    1. A contract of insurance.
    2. A document containing or certifying this contract.
      Your insurance policy covers fire and theft only.
  2. (obsolete) An illegal daily lottery in late nineteenth and early twentieth century USA on numbers drawn from a lottery wheel (no plural)
  3. A number pool lottery
Synonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
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Further reading edit