Skip to main content
Select Source:

political

political political animal a person viewed as living and acting with others; a follower of or participant in politics. The phrase comes originally from the translation of Greek politikon zōon, in the Politics of Aristotle, where the meaning was literally ‘an animal intended to live in a city [polis]’.
political correctness the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

Politically correct meaning ‘appropriate to the prevailing political or social circumstances’ has been recorded from the late 18th century, but did not become a fixed phrase until the early 1970s, when it received a dramatic impetus in the feminist literature of the time, and the campaign against a perceived gender bias. However, by the late 1980s the view also developed that this in itself could represent a puritanical approach which was a potential enemy to freedom of thought and expression.

By the early 1990s, use of the term political correctness was nearly always pejorative, while the labels politically incorrect and political incorrectness often suggested the notion that the idea or statement described was bravely formulated. The abbreviation PC is nearly always pejorative or ironic.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"political." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 9 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"political." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 9, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/political

"political." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved December 09, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/political

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

political

po·lit·i·cal / pəˈlitikəl/ • adj. of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country: a period of political and economic stability. ∎  of or relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics: a decision taken for purely political reasons. ∎  interested in or active in politics: I'm not very political. ∎  motivated or caused by a person's beliefs or actions concerning politics: a political crime. ∎ chiefly derog. relating to, affecting, or acting according to the interests of status or authority within an organization rather than matters of principle. DERIVATIVES: po·lit·i·cal·ly / -ik(ə)lē/ adv.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"political." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 9 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"political." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 9, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/political-1

"political." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 09, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/political-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

political

politicalcackle, crackle, grackle, hackle, jackal, mackle, shackle, tackle •ankle, rankle •Gaskell, mascle, paschal •tabernacle • ramshackle •débâcle, diarchal, matriarchal, monarchal, patriarchal, sparkle •rascal •deckle, freckle, heckle, Jekyll, shekel, speckle •faecal (US fecal), treacle •chicle, fickle, mickle, nickel, pickle, prickle, sickle, strickle, tickle, trickle •besprinkle, crinkle, sprinkle, tinkle, twinkle, winkle, wrinkle •fiscal •laical, Pharisaical •vehicle • stoical • cubicle • radical •medical, paramedical •Druidical, juridical, veridical •syndical •methodical, periodical, rhapsodical, synodical •Talmudical • graphical • pontifical •magical, tragical •strategical •alogical, illogical, logical •dramaturgical, liturgical, metallurgical, surgical •anarchical, hierarchical, monarchical, oligarchical •psychical •angelical, evangelical, helical •umbilical • biblical • encyclical •diabolical, follicle, hyperbolical, symbolical •dynamical, hydrodynamical •academical, agrochemical, alchemical, biochemical, chemical, petrochemical, photochemical, polemical •inimical • rhythmical • seismical •agronomical, anatomical, astronomical, comical, economical, gastronomical, physiognomical •botanical, Brahmanical, mechanical, puritanical, sanicle, tyrannical •ecumenical •geotechnical, pyrotechnical, technical •clinical, cynical, dominical, finical, Jacobinical, pinnacle, rabbinical •canonical, chronicle, conical, ironical •tunicle • pumpernickel • vernicle •apical • epical •atypical, prototypical, stereotypical, typical •misanthropical, semi-tropical, subtropical, topical, tropical •theatrical •chimerical, clerical, hemispherical, hysterical, numerical, spherical •calendrical •asymmetrical, diametrical, geometrical, metrical, symmetrical, trimetrical •electrical • ventricle •empirical, lyrical, miracle, panegyrical, satirical •cylindrical •ahistorical, allegorical, categorical, historical, metaphorical, oratorical, phantasmagorical, rhetorical •auricle • rubrical • curricle •classical, fascicle, neoclassical •farcical • vesicle •indexical, lexical •commonsensical, nonsensical •bicycle, icicle, tricycle •paradoxical • Popsicle • versicle •anagrammatical, apostatical, emblematical, enigmatical, fanatical, grammatical, mathematical, piratical, prelatical, problematical, sabbatical •impractical, practical, syntactical, tactical •canticle •ecclesiastical, fantastical •article, particle •alphabetical, arithmetical, heretical, hypothetical, metathetical, metical, parenthetical, poetical, prophetical, reticle, synthetical, theoretical •dialectical •conventicle, identical •sceptical (US skeptical) • testicle •analytical, apolitical, critical, cryptanalytical, diacritical, eremitical, geopolitical, hypercritical, hypocritical, political, socio-political, subcritical •deistical, egoistical, logistical, mystical, papistical •optical, synoptical •aeronautical, nautical, vortical •cuticle, pharmaceutical, therapeutical •vertical • ethical • mythical • clavicle •periwinkle • lackadaisical •metaphysical, physical, quizzical •whimsical • musical •Carmichael, cervical, cycle, Michael •unicycle • monocycle • motorcycle •cockle, grockle •corncockle • snorkel •bifocal, focal, local, univocal, varifocal, vocal, yokel •archducal, coucal, ducal, pentateuchal •buckle, chuckle, knuckle, muckle, ruckle, suckle, truckle •peduncle, uncle •parbuckle • carbuncle • turnbuckle •pinochle • furuncle • honeysuckle •demoniacal, maniacal, megalomaniacal, paradisiacal, zodiacal •manacle • barnacle • cenacle •binnacle • monocle • epochal •reciprocal •coracle, oracle •spectacle •pentacle, tentacle •receptacle • obstacle • equivocal •circle, encircle •semicircle

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"political." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 9 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"political." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 9, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/political-0

"political." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved December 09, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/political-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.