Did you just come up with a plan for reducing the number of paper clips your department uses at work each month? Then you’ve created a policy, a plan of action.

The noun policy can be used to refer to a plan developed by an individual or a group. You’ll often see the word used to describe a plan developed by a government, such as a housing policy or a defense policy. A policy typically outlines a specific course of action designed to further the general goals of the group. The word can also be used to describe a formal written agreement, such as an insurance policy.

Primary Meanings of policy

a plan of action adopted by an individual or social group
written contract or certificate of insurance
Full Definitions of policy

n a plan of action adopted by an individual or social group

“it was a policy of retribution”
“a politician keeps changing his policies
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a policy of taking direct and militant action to achieve a political or social goal
beggar-my-neighbor policy, beggar-my-neighbor strategy, beggar-my-neighbour policy, beggar-my-neighbour strategy
a policy of promoting oneself at the expense of others; used especially of national policy
the political policy of concentrating power in a central organization
a policy of creating strategic alliances in order to check the expansion of a hostile power or ideology or to force it to negotiate peacefully
the policy of being moderate or acting with moderation
a policy of opposition to enlightenment or the spread of knowledge
(England) the political policy of Margaret Thatcher
(Roman Catholic Church) the policy that the absolute authority of the church should be vested in the pope
Type of:
plan of action
a plan for actively doing something

n a line of argument rationalizing the course of action of a government

“they debated the policy or impolicy of the proposed legislation”
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a policy of supporting the influence and power of the clergy in secular or political matters
an endorsed policy in the platform of a political party
economic policy
a government policy for maintaining economic growth and tax revenues
social policy
a policy of for dealing with social issues
party line
the policy of a political group
foreign policy
a policy governing international relations
zero-tolerance policy
any policy that allows no exception
a policy for establishing and developing a national homeland for Jews in Palestine
a policy of pacifying an enemy or potential enemy by making concessions
fiscal policy
a government policy for dealing with the budget (especially with taxation and borrowing)
New Deal
the economic policy of F. D. Roosevelt
the economic policy of controlling or limiting or curbing prices or wages etc.
an economic policy adopted in the former Soviet Union; intended to increase automation and labor efficiency but it led eventually to the end of central planning in the Russian economy
the policy of imposing duties or quotas on imports in order to protect home industries from overseas competition
a social policy of racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against people who are not Whites; the former official policy in South Africa
a policy of the Soviet government allowing freer discussion of social problems
social action
a social policy of reform (especially socioeconomic reform)
the policy of perpetuating native cultures (in opposition to acculturation)
the policy of pushing a dangerous situation to the brink of disaster (to the limits of safety)
a policy of extending your rule over foreign countries
interference, intervention
a policy of intervening in the affairs of other countries
noninterference, nonintervention
a foreign policy of staying out of other countries' disputes
a policy of not initiating hostilities
a policy of nonparticipation in international economic and political relations
Monroe Doctrine
an American foreign policy opposing interference in the western hemisphere from outside powers
Truman doctrine
President Truman's policy of providing economic and military aid to any country threatened by communism or totalitarian ideology
a policy of neutrality or nonalignment in international affairs
a foreign policy that defines the international interests of a country in terms of particular geographic areas
national trading policy, trade policy
a government's policy controlling foreign trade
a policy of pacifying an enemy or potential enemy by making concessions
Type of:
argument, argumentation, line, line of reasoning, logical argument
a course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning

n written contract or certificate of insurance

“you should have read the small print on your policy
insurance, insurance policy
floater, floating policy
an insurance policy covering loss of movable property (e.g. jewelry) regardless of its location
Type of:
a binding agreement between two or more persons that is enforceable by law

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