A politician is a person who campaigns for or holds a position in government. A politician may start a career by running for a local office, like mayor, but could eventually serve nationally — in Congress or even as President.

Politician can mean someone who identifies with a major political party. Sometimes voters prefer to elect candidates who aren't career politicians, with more allegiance to the party they represent than the people they serve. A general frustration with politicians has resulted in the use of politician to refer to people who act to gain an advantage for themselves. The office politician may lobby the boss to get preferential treatment, for example.

Definitions of politician
  1. noun
    a leader engaged in civil administration
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    Thomas Hart Benton
    United States legislator who opposed the use of paper currency (1782-1858)
    Hilary Rodham Clinton
    wife of President Clinton and later a woman member of the United States Senate (1947-)
    James William Fulbright
    United States senator who is remembered for his creation of grants that fund exchange programs of teachers and students between the United States and other countries (1905-1995)
    John Herschel Glenn Jr.
    made the first orbital rocket-powered flight by a United States astronaut in 1962; later in United States Senate (1921-)
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    the head of a state government
    someone who makes or enacts laws
    city manager, mayor
    the head of a city government
    a former mayor
    a mayor or chief magistrate of a Spanish town
    a member of the House of Commons who is not a party leader
    the governor of a district or province in the Ottoman Empire
    a mayor of a municipality in Germany or Holland or Flanders or Austria
    congressman, congresswoman, representative
    a member of the United States House of Representatives
    a member of the House of Commons who does not vote regularly with either the government or the Opposition
    a member of the lower chamber of a legislative assembly (such as in France)
    the governor or prefect of an eparchy in ancient Greece
    filibuster, filibusterer
    a legislator who gives long speeches in an effort to delay or obstruct legislation that he (or she) opposes
    floor leader
    the legislator who organizes his party's strategy
    a member of the House of Commons who is a minister in the government or who holds an official position in an opposition party
    governor general
    a governor of high rank
    majority leader
    leader of the majority party in a legislature
    a woman mayor
    military governor
    the head of a government established by the military (as in a defeated country)
    minority leader
    leader of the minority party in a legislature
    nabob, nawab
    a governor in India during the Mogul empire
    Member of Parliament, Parliamentarian
    an elected member of the British Parliament: a member of the House of Commons
    a provincial governor of consular rank in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire
    a governor of a province in ancient Persia
    a member of a senate
    vicereine, viceroy
    governor of a country or province who rules as the representative of his or her king or sovereign
    party whip, whip
    a legislator appointed by the party to enforce discipline
    type of:
    a person who rules or guides or inspires others
  2. noun
    a person active in party politics
    synonyms: pol, political leader, politico
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    Nancy Witcher Astor
    British politician (born in the United States) who was the first woman to sit in the British House of Commons (1879-1964)
    Alben William Barkley
    United States politician and lawyer; vice president of the United States (1877-1956)
    William Maxwell Aitken
    British newspaper publisher and politician (born in Canada); confidant of Winston Churchill (1879-1964)
    Thomas Bradley
    United States politician who was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles (1917-1998)
    Boy Orator of the Platte
    United States lawyer and politician who advocated free silver and prosecuted John Scopes (1925) for teaching evolution in a Tennessee high school (1860-1925)
    Aaron Burr
    United States politician who served as vice president under Jefferson; he mortally wounded his political rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel and fled south (1756-1836)
    Salmon Portland Chase
    United States politician and jurist who served as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1808-1873)
    Charles Joseph Clark
    Canadian politician who served as prime minister (1939-)
    the Great Compromiser
    United States politician responsible for the Missouri Compromise between free and slave states (1777-1852)
    DeWitt Clinton
    United States politician who as governor of New York supported the project to build the Erie Canal (1769-1828)
    David Crockett
    United States frontiersman and Tennessee politician who died at the siege of the Alamo (1786-1836)
    Stephen Arnold Douglas
    United States politician who proposed that individual territories be allowed to decide whether they would have slavery; he engaged in a famous series of debates with Abraham Lincoln (1813-1861)
    Samuel Houston
    United States politician and military leader who fought to gain independence for Texas from Mexico and to make it a part of the United States (1793-1863)
    Jesse Louis Jackson
    United States civil rights leader who led a national campaign against racial discrimination and ran for presidential nomination (born in 1941)
    Glenda Jackson
    English film actress who later became a member of British Parliament (born in 1936)
    Andre Maginot
    French politician who proposed the Maginot Line (1877-1932)
    Joseph Raymond McCarthy
    United States politician who unscrupulously accused many citizens of being Communists (1908-1957)
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan
    United States politician and educator (1927-2003)
    Mullah Mohammed Omar
    reclusive Afghanistani politician and leader of the Taliban who imposed a strict interpretation of shariah law on Afghanistan (born in 1960)
    Sir Robert Peel
    British politician (1788-1850)
    Jeannette Rankin
    leader in the women's suffrage movement in Montana; the first woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives (1880-1973)
    Nellie Tayloe Ross
    a politician in Wyoming who was the first woman governor in the United States (1876-1977)
    William Henry Seward
    United States politician who as Secretary of State in 1867 arranged for the purchase of Alaska from Russia (known at the time as Seward's Folly) (1801-1872)
    Daniel Webster
    United States politician and orator (1782-1817)
    Dean Gooderham Acheson
    United States statesman who promoted the Marshall Plan and helped establish NATO (1893-1971)
    Konrad Adenauer
    German statesman; chancellor of West Germany (1876-1967)
    Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
    Roman general who commanded the fleet that defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium (63-12 BC)
    ancient Athenian statesman and general in the Peloponnesian War (circa 450-404 BC)
    Yasser Arafat
    Palestinian statesman who was chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (1929-2004)
    Kemal Ataturk
    Turkish statesman who abolished the caliphate and founded Turkey as a modern secular state (1881-1938)
    Clement Richard Attlee
    British statesman and leader of the Labour Party who instituted the welfare state in Britain (1883-1967)
    Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
    Roman statesman who established the Roman Empire and became emperor in 27 BC; defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra in 31 BC at Actium (63 BC - AD 14)
    Viscount St. Albans
    English statesman and philosopher; precursor of British empiricism; advocated inductive reasoning (1561-1626)
    1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley
    English statesman; member of the Conservative Party (1867-1947)
    Arthur James Balfour
    English statesman; member of the Conservative Party (1848-1930)
    Bernard Mannes Baruch
    economic advisor to United States Presidents (1870-1965)
    Menachem Begin
    Israeli statesman (born in Russia) who (as prime minister of Israel) negotiated a peace treaty with Anwar Sadat (then the president of Egypt) (1913-1992)
    David Ben Gurion
    Israeli statesman (born in Poland) and active Zionist who organized resistance against the British after World War II; prime minister of Israel (1886-1973)
    Ernest Bevin
    British labor leader and statesman who played an important role in diplomacy after World War II (1884-1951)
    Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck
    German statesman under whose leadership Germany was united (1815-1898)
    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair
    British statesman who became prime minister in 1997 (born in 1953)
    Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius
    a Roman who was an early Christian philosopher and statesman who was executed for treason; Boethius had a decisive influence on medieval logic (circa 480-524)
    El Libertador
    Venezuelan statesman who led the revolt of South American colonies against Spanish rule; founded Bolivia in 1825 (1783-1830)
    Willy Brandt
    German statesman who as chancellor of West Germany worked to reduce tensions with eastern Europe (1913-1992)
    Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev
    Soviet statesman who became president of the Soviet Union (1906-1982)
    Marcus Junius Brutus
    statesman of ancient Rome who (with Cassius) led a conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar (85-42 BC)
    Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin
    Bolshevik leader in Russia who advocated gradual collectivism of the farms; was executed in a purge by Stalin (1888-1938)
    Edmund Burke
    British statesman famous for his oratory; pleaded the cause of the American colonists in British Parliament and defended the parliamentary system (1729-1797)
    Gaius Julius Caesar
    conqueror of Gaul and master of Italy (100-44 BC)
    Gaius Cassius Longinus
    prime mover in the conspiracy against Julius Caesar (died in 42 BC)
    Fidel Castro Ruz
    Cuban socialist leader who overthrew a dictator in 1959 and established a Marxist socialist state in Cuba (born in 1927)
    Arthur Neville Chamberlain
    British statesman who as Prime Minister pursued a policy of appeasement toward fascist Germany (1869-1940)
    Francois Rene Chateaubriand
    French statesman and writer; considered a precursor of the romantic movement in France (1768-1848)
    Fourth Earl of Chesterfield
    suave and witty English statesman remembered mostly for letters to his son (1694-1773)
    Chiang Chung-cheng
    Chinese military and political figure; in the Chinese civil war that followed World War II he was defeated by the Chinese communists and in 1949 was forced to withdraw to Taiwan where he served as president of Nationalist China until his death (1897-1975)
    Sir Winston Leonard Spenser Churchill
    British statesman and leader during World War II; received Nobel prize for literature in 1953 (1874-1965)
    Marcus Tullius Cicero
    a Roman statesman and orator remembered for his mastery of Latin prose (106-43 BC)
    Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus
    Roman statesman regarded as a model of simple virtue; he twice was called to assume dictatorship of Rome and each time retired to his farm (519-438 BC)
    Georges Eugene Benjamin Clemenceau
    French statesman who played a key role in negotiating the Treaty of Versailles (1841-1929)
    Baron Clive of Plassey
    British general and statesman whose victory at Plassey in 1757 strengthened British control of India (1725-1774)
    Cosimo de Medici
    Italian financier and statesman and friend of the papal court (1389-1464)
    Oliver Cromwell
    English general and statesman who led the parliamentary army in the English Civil War (1599-1658)
    Jefferson Davis
    American statesman; president of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War (1808-1889)
    Moshe Dayan
    Israeli general and statesman (1915-1981)
    Charles Andre Joseph Marie de Gaulle
    French general and statesman who became very popular during World War II as the leader of the Free French forces in exile (1890-1970)
    Athenian statesman and orator (circa 385-322 BC)
    Teng Hsiao-ping
    Chinese communist statesman (1904-1997)
    Eamon de Valera
    Irish statesman (born in the United States); as president of the Irish Free State he was responsible for the new constitution of 1937 that created the state of Eire (1882-1975)
    First Earl of Beaconsfield
    British statesman who as Prime Minister bought controlling interest in the Suez Canal and made Queen Victoria the empress of India (1804-1881)
    Friedrich Engels
    socialist who wrote the Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx in 1848 (1820-1895)
    Gaius Flaminius
    Roman statesman and general who built the Flaminian Way; died when he was defeated by Hannibal (died 217 BC)
    Charles James Fox
    English statesman who supported American independence and the French Revolution (1749-1806)
    Indira Nehru Gandhi
    daughter of Nehru who served as prime minister of India from 1966 to 1977 (1917-1984)
    William Ewart Gladstone
    liberal British statesman who served as prime minister four times (1809-1898)
    Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
    Soviet statesman whose foreign policy brought an end to the Cold War and whose domestic policy introduced major reforms (born in 1931)
    Second Earl Grey
    Englishman who as Prime Minister implemented social reforms including the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire (1764-1845)
    First Viscount Haldane of Cloan
    Scottish statesman and brother of Elizabeth and John Haldane (1856-1928)
    Alexander Hamilton
    United States statesman and leader of the Federalists; as the first Secretary of the Treasury he establish a federal bank; was mortally wounded in a duel with Aaron Burr (1755-1804)
    Vaclav Havel
    Czech dramatist and statesman whose plays opposed totalitarianism and who served as president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992 and president of the Czech Republic since 1993 (born in 1936)
    William Dudley Haywood
    United States labor leader and militant socialist who was one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World (1869-1928)
    Paul Ludwig von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg
    German field marshal and statesman; as president of the Weimar Republic he reluctantly appointed Hitler as chancellor in 1933 (1847-1934)
    Nguyen Tat Thanh
    Vietnamese communist statesman who fought the Japanese in World War II and the French until 1954 and South Vietnam until 1975 (1890-1969)
    Muhammad Ali Jinnah
    Indian statesman who was the founder of Pakistan as a Muslim state (1876-1948)
    Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin
    soviet statesman and head of state of the USSR (1875-1946)
    Kenneth David Kaunda
    statesman who led Northern Rhodesia to full independence as Zambia in 1964 and served as Zambia's first president (1924-1999)
    Jomo Kenyata
    Kenyan statesman and the first president of independent Kenya (1893-1978)
    Aleksandr Feodorovich Kerensky
    Russian revolutionary who was head of state after Nicholas II abdicated but was overthrown by the Bolsheviks (1881-1970)
    Sir Seretse Khama
    Botswanan statesman who was the first president of Botswana (1921-1980)
    Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev
    Soviet statesman and premier who denounced Stalin (1894-1971)
    Prince Fumimaro Konoye
    Japanese statesman who set Japan's expansionist policies and formed an alliance with Germany and Italy (1891-1945)
    Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger
    Boer statesman (1825-1904)
    Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov
    Russian founder of the Bolsheviks and leader of the Russian Revolution and first head of the USSR (1870-1924)
    Lorenzo the Magnificent
    Italian statesman and scholar who supported many artists and humanists including Michelangelo and Leonardo and Botticelli (1449-1492)
    Niccolo Machiavelli
    a statesman of Florence who advocated a strong central government (1469-1527)
    John Roy Major
    British statesman who was prime minister from 1990 until 1997 (born in 1943)
    Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
    South African statesman who was released from prison to become the nation's first democratically elected president in 1994 (born in 1918)
    Mao Tsetung
    Chinese communist leader (1893-1976)
    George Catlett Marshall
    United States general and statesman who as Secretary of State organized the European Recovery Program (1880-1959)
    Golda Meir
    Israeli statesman (born in Russia) (1898-1978)
    Prince Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar von Metternich
    Austrian statesman (1773-1859)
    Francois Maurice Marie Mitterrand
    French statesman and president of France from 1981 to 1985 (1916-1996)
    Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov
    Soviet statesman (1890-1986)
    Sir Thomas More
    English statesman who opposed Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and was imprisoned and beheaded; recalled for his concept of Utopia, the ideal state
    Gouverneur Morris
    United States statesman who led the committee that produced the final draft of the United States Constitution (1752-1816)
    Hosni Mubarak
    Egyptian statesman who became president in 1981 after Sadat was assassinated (born in 1929)
    Fridtjof Nansen
    Norwegian explorer of the Arctic and director of the League of Nations relief program for refugees of World War I (1861-1930)
    Gamal Abdel Nasser
    Egyptian statesman who nationalized the Suez Canal (1918-1970)
    Jawaharlal Nehru
    Indian statesman and leader with Gandhi in the struggle for home rule; was the first prime minister of the Republic of India from 1947 to 1964 (1889-1964)
    Second Earl of Guilford
    British statesman under George III whose policies led to rebellion in the American colonies (1732-1792)
    Daniel Ortega Saavedra
    Nicaraguan statesman (born in 1945)
    Ignace Jan Paderewski
    Polish pianist who in 1919 served as the first Prime Minister of independent Poland (1860-1941)
    Athenian statesman whose leadership contributed to Athens' political and cultural supremacy in Greece; he ordered the construction of the Parthenon (died in 429 BC)
    First Earl of Chatham
    English statesman who brought the Seven Years' War to an end (1708-1778)
    Second Earl of Chatham
    English statesman and son of Pitt the Elder (1759-1806)
    Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus
    Roman general and statesman who quarrelled with Caesar and fled to Egypt where he was murdered (106-48 BC)
    Colin luther Powell
    United States general who was the first African American to serve as chief of staff; later served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush (born 1937)
    Pierre Joseph Proudhon
    French socialist who argued that property is theft (1809-1865)
    Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
    Russian statesman chosen as president of the Russian Federation in 2000; formerly director of the Federal Security Bureau (born in 1952)
    Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
    Indian philosopher and statesman who introduced Indian philosophy to the West (1888-1975)
    John Reed
    United States journalist who reported on the October Revolution from Petrograd in 1917; founded the Communist Labor Party in America in 1919; is buried in the Kremlin in Moscow (1887-1920)
    Armand Jean du Plessis
    French prelate and statesman; principal minister to Louis XIII (1585-1642)
    Second Marquis of Rockingham
    English statesman who served as prime minister and who opposed the war with the American colonies (1730-1782)
    Anwar el-Sadat
    Egyptian statesman who (as president of Egypt) negotiated a peace treaty with Menachem Begin (then prime minister of Israel) (1918-1981)
    Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt
    German statesman who served as chancellor of Germany (born in 1918)
    Lucius Annaeus Seneca
    Roman statesman and philosopher who was an advisor to Nero; his nine extant tragedies are modeled on Greek tragedies (circa 4 BC - 65 AD)
    Ian Douglas Smith
    Rhodesian statesman who declared independence of Zimbabwe from Great Britain (born in 1919)
    Jan Christian Smuts
    South African statesman and soldier (1870-1950)
    Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili
    Russian leader who succeeded Lenin as head of the Communist Party and created a totalitarian state by purging all opposition (1879-1953)
    Indonesian statesman who seized power from Sukarno in 1967 (born in 1921)
    Achmad Sukarno
    Indonesian statesman who obtained the independence of Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1949 and served as president until ousted by Suharto in a coup d'etat (1901-1970)
    Maxmilien de Bethune
    French statesman (1560-1641)
    Sun Yat-sen
    Chinese statesman who organized the Kuomintang and led the revolution that overthrew the Manchu dynasty in 1911 and 1912 (1866-1925)
    Charles Maurice de Talleyrand
    French statesman (1754-1838)
    Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven
    British stateswoman; first woman to serve as Prime Minister (born in 1925)
    Athenian statesman who persuaded Athens to build a navy and then led it to victory over the Persians (527-460 BC)
    Norman Mattoon Thomas
    United States socialist who was a candidate for president six times (1884-1968)
    Marshal Tito
    Yugoslav statesman who led the resistance to German occupation during World War II and established a communist state after the war (1892-1980)
    Lev Davidovich Bronstein
    Russian revolutionary and Communist theorist who helped Lenin and built up the army; he was ousted from the Communist Party by Stalin and eventually assassinated in Mexico (1879-1940)
    Getulio Dornelles Vargas
    Brazilian statesman who ruled Brazil as a virtual dictator (1883-1954)
    Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd
    South African statesman who instituted the policy of apartheid (1901-1966)
    Kurt Waldheim
    Austrian diplomat who was Secretary General of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981; in 1986 he was elected president of Austria in spite of worldwide allegations that he had direct knowledge of Nazi atrocities during World War II (born in 1918)
    Lech Walesa
    Polish labor leader and statesman (born in 1943)
    First Earl of Orford
    Englishman and Whig statesman who (under George I) was effectively the first British prime minister (1676-1745)
    Earl of Warwick
    English statesman; during the War of the Roses he fought first for the house of York and secured the throne for Edward IV and then changed sides to fight for the house of Lancaster and secured the throne for Henry VI (1428-1471)
    Chaim Azriel Weizmann
    Israeli statesman who persuaded the United States to recognize the new state of Israel and became its first president (1874-1952)
    First Duke of Wellington
    British general and statesman; he defeated Napoleon at Waterloo; subsequently served as Prime Minister (1769-1852)
    William of Wykeham
    English prelate and statesman; founded a college at Oxford and Winchester College in Winchester; served as chancellor of England and bishop of Winchester (1324-1404)
    Chou En-lai
    Chinese revolutionary and communist leader (1898-1976)
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    campaigner, candidate, nominee
    a politician who is running for public office
    a member of the communist party
    demagog, demagogue, rabble-rouser
    a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular passions and prejudices
    a member of the Democratic Party
    a member of a former political party in the United States that favored a strong centralized federal government
    a member of the British Labour Party
    hack, machine politician, political hack, ward-heeler
    a politician who belongs to a small clique that controls a political party for private rather than public ends
    someone who bolted from the Republican Party during the U.S. presidential election of 1884
    someone who has announced they are not a candidate; especially a politician who has announced that he or she is not a candidate for some political office
    boss, party boss, political boss
    a leader in a political party who controls votes and dictates appointments
    party liner, party man
    a member of a political party who follows strictly the party line
    a member of the Republican Party
    a political leader (especially of Tammany Hall)
    a political advocate of socialism
    an outstanding leader of a political movement
    national leader, solon, statesman
    a man who is a respected leader in national or international affairs
    an advocate of technocracy
    a member of the Whig Party that existed in the United States before the American Civil War
    Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin, Grigori Potemkin, Grigori Potyokin, Potemkin, Potyokin
    a Russian officer and politician who was a favorite of Catherine II and in 1762 helped her to seize power; when she visited the Crimea in 1787 he gave the order for sham villages to be built (1739-1791)
    commie, communist
    a socialist who advocates communism
    dark horse
    a political candidate who is not well known but could win unexpectedly
    elder statesman
    an elderly statesman whose advice is sought be government leaders
    a member of the Fabian Society in Britain
    favorite son
    a United States politician favored mainly in his or her home state
    Founding Father
    a member of the Constitutional Convention that drafted the United States Constitution in 1787
    a member of a socialist or communist international
    a Russian member of the liberal minority group that advocated gradual reform and opposed the Bolsheviks before and during the Russian Revolution
    running mate
    a nominee for the lesser of two closely related political offices
    collectivist, left-winger, leftist
    a person who belongs to the political left
    a candidate with no chance of winning but who may draw enough votes to prevent one of the leading candidates from winning
    a candidate put forward to divide the Opposition or to mask the true candidate
    a woman statesman
    write-in, write-in candidate
    a candidate for public office whose name does not appear on the ballot and so must be written on the ballot by the voters
    type of:
    a person who rules or guides or inspires others
  3. noun
    a schemer who tries to gain advantage in an organization in sly or underhanded ways
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    type of:
    plotter, schemer
    a planner who draws up a personal scheme of action
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