Meaning of POLICY in English

I. ˈpäləsē, -si noun

( -es )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English policie, from Middle French, from Late Latin politia — more at police

1. archaic : the art or science of government : the conduct of public affairs

2. archaic : polity

in well constituted policies provision is always made for the exercise of clemency — Joseph Gilbert

3. archaic : a wise scheme or device ; especially : a cunning contrivance, stratagem, or trick


a. : prudence or wisdom in the management of public and private affairs : sagacity , shrewdness , wisdom , wit

decide upon … the policy or impolicy of these laws — R.B.Taney

had I, with greater policy , concealed my struggles — Jane Austen

b. : management, administration, or procedure based primarily on temporal or material interest : worldly wisdom : shrewdness based upon considerations of expediency : craftiness


a. : a definite course or method of action selected (as by a government, institution, group, or individual) from among alternatives and in the light of given conditions to guide and usually determine present and future decisions


(1) : a specific decision or set of decisions designed to carry out such a chosen course of action

(2) : such a specific decision or set of decisions together with the related actions designed to implement them

c. : a projected program consisting of desired objectives and the means to achieve them

formulation of policy


[Middle English (Scots) polesy (influenced in meaning by Latin politus polished, refined), from Middle English policie — more at polite ]

obs Scotland

a. : the improvement of an estate, town, or building

b. : the improvements so made

c. : the improved grounds (as parkland) of an estate or country house in Scotland — usually used in plural

house stands in about 20 acres of well-wooded policies — advt

the policies of an old country house — John Buchan

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

Etymology: Middle French policier, from policie, n.

archaic : to organize and regulate the internal order of : govern

III. noun

( -es )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: alteration (influenced by policy ) (I) of earlier police, from Middle French, certificate, from OIT polizza, modification of Medieval Latin apodixa receipt, from Middle Greek apodeixis, from Greek, proof, from apodeiknynai to point out, demonstrate + -sis — more at apodictic

1. : a certificate of insurance : a writing whereby a contract of insurance is made : the document containing the contract made by an insurance company with a person whose property or life is insured : an annuity contract or certificate of an insurance company — see blanket policy , floater 8, floating policy , limited policy , open policy , standard policy , time policy , unlimited policy , unvalued policy , valued policy , wager policy


a. : a daily lottery in which participants bet that certain numbers will be drawn from a lottery wheel

b. : number 11a

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.