Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A plan or course of action, as of a government, political party, or business, intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters: American foreign policy; the company's personnel policy.
  • n. A course of action, guiding principle, or procedure considered expedient, prudent, or advantageous: Honesty is the best policy.
  • n. Prudence, shrewdness, or sagacity in practical matters.
  • n. A written contract or certificate of insurance.
  • n. A numbers game.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A contract of insurance
  • n. An illegal daily lottery in late nineteenth and early twentieth century USA on numbers drawn from a lottery wheel (no plural)
  • n. A number pool lottery

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Civil polity.
  • n. The settled method by which the government and affairs of a nation are, or may be, administered; a system of public or official administration, as designed to promote the external or internal prosperity of a state.
  • n. The method by which any institution is administered; system of management; course.
  • n. Management or administration based on temporal or material interest, rather than on principles of equity or honor; hence, worldly wisdom; dexterity of management; cunning; stratagem.
  • n. Prudence or wisdom in the management of public and private affairs; wisdom; sagacity; wit.
  • n. Motive; object; inducement.
  • transitive v. To regulate by laws; to reduce to order.
  • n. A ticket or warrant for money in the public funds.
  • n. The writing or instrument in which a contract of insurance is embodied; an instrument in writing containing the terms and conditions on which one party engages to indemnify another against loss arising from certain hazards, perils, or risks to which his person or property may be exposed. See Insurance.
  • n. A method of gambling by betting as to what numbers will be drawn in a lottery.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Polity; administration; public business.
  • n. Object or course of conduct, or the principle or body of principles to be observed in conduct; specifically, the system of measures or the line of conduct which a ruler, minister, government, or party adopts and pursues as best for the interests of the country, as regards its foreign or its domestic affairs: as, a spirited foreign policy; the commercial policy of the United States; a policy of peace; public policy.
  • n. Prudence or wisdom in action, whether public or private; especially, worldly wisdom: as, honesty is the best policy.
  • n. In Scotland, the pleasure-grounds around a nobleman's or gentleman's country house.
  • To reduce to order; regulate by laws; police.
  • n. A written contract by which a person, company, or party engages to pay a certain sum on certain contingencies, as in the case of fire or shipwreck, in the event of death, etc., on the condition of receiving a fixed sum or percentage on the amount of the risk, or certain periodical payments. See insurance.
  • n. A ticket or warrant for money in the public funds.
  • n. A form of gambling in which bets are made on numbers to be drawn by lottery. [U. S.]

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a line of argument rationalizing the course of action of a government
  • n. a plan of action adopted by an individual or social group
  • n. written contract or certificate of insurance

Etymologies

Middle English policie, art of government, civil organization, from Old French; see police.
Obsolete police, from French, contract, bill of lading, from Old French, from Old Italian polizza, alteration of Medieval Latin apodixa, receipt, from Medieval Greek apodeixis, from Greek, proof, from apodeiknunai, to prove : apo-, intensive pref.; see apo- + deiknunai, to show; see deik- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French policie, from Late Latin politia ("citizenship; government"), classical Latin polītīa (in Cicero), from Ancient Greek πολιτεία (politeia, "citizenship; polis, (city) state; government"), from πολίτης ("citizen"). Compare police. (Wiktionary)
From Middle French police, from Italian polizza, from Medieval Latin apodissa ("receipt for money"), from Ancient Greek ἀπόδειξις (apodeixis, "proof, declaration") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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