Dictionary: PO-LITE – POL'LEN-IN

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |


PO-LITE, a. [L. politus, polished, from polio, supra.]

  1. Literally, smooth, glossy, and used in this sense till within a century. Rays of light falling on a polite surface. – Newton. [This application of the word is, I believe, entirely obsolete.]
  2. Being polished or elegant in manners; refined in behavior; well bred. He marries, bows at court, and grows polite. – Pope.
  3. Courteous; complaisant; obliging. His manners were warm without insincerity, and polite without pomp. – Anon.

PO-LITE-LY, adv.

With elegance of manners; genteelly; courteously.


  1. Polish or elegance of manners; gentility; good breeding; ease and gracefulness of manners, united with a desire to please others and a careful attention to their wants and wishes.
  2. Courteousness; complaisance; obliging attentions.

POL'I-TIC, a. [L. politicus; Gr. πολιτικος, from πολιτεια, from πολις, a city. This word in its origin is the same as political, and was formerly used as synonymous with it. It is so still in the phrase, body politic. Burke used politic distinction for political distinction, but present usage does not warrant this application.]

  1. Wise; prudent and sagacious in devising and pursuing measures adapted to promote the public welfare; applied to persons; as, a politic prince.
  2. Well devised and adapted to the public prosperity; applied to things. This land was famously enriched / With politic grave counsel. – Shak.
  3. Ingenious in devising and pursuing any scheme of personal or national aggrandizement, without regard to the morality of the measure; cunning; artful; sagacious in adapting means to the end, whether good or evil. I have been politic with my friend, smooth with my enemy. – Pope. Shak.
  4. Well devised; adapted to its end, right or wrong.

PO-LIT'IC-AL, a. [supra.]

  1. Pertaining to policy, or to civil government and its administration. Political measures or affairs are measures that respect the government of a nation or state. So we say, political power or authority; political wisdom; a political scheme; political opinions. A good prince is the political father of his people. The founders of a state and wise senators are also called political fathers.
  2. Pertaining to a nation or state, or to nations or states, as distinguished from civil or municipal; as in the phrase, political and civil rights, the former comprehending rights that belong to a nation, or perhaps to a citizen as an individual of a nation; and the latter comprehending the local rights of a corporation or any member of it. Speaking of the political state of Europe, we are accustomed to say of Sweden, she lost her liberty by the revolution. – Paley.
  3. Public; derived from office or connection with government; as, political character.
  4. Artful; skillful. [See Politic.]
  5. Treating of politics or government; as, a political writer. – Paley. Political arithmetic, the art of reasoning by figures, or of making arithmetical calculations on matters relating to a nation, its revenues, value of lands and effects, produce of lands or manufactures, population, &c. Political economy, the administration of the revenues of a nation; or the management and regulation of its resources and productive property and labor. Political economy comprehends all the measures by which the property and labor of citizens are directed in the best manner to the success of individual industry and enterprise, and to the public prosperity. Political economy is now considered as a science.


  1. With relation to the government of a nation or state.
  2. Artfully; with address. [Obs.] – Knolles.


A petty politician; a pretender to politics. – L'Estrange.


Cunning; using artifice. [Obs.]

POL-I-TI'CIAN, n. [Fr. politicien.]

  1. One versed in the science of government and the art of governing; one skilled in politics. – Dryden. Pope.
  2. A man of artifice or deep contrivance. – South.

POL'I-TIC-LY, adv.

Artfully. – Shak.

POL'I-TICS, n. [Fr. politique; Gr. πολιτικη. See Policy.]

The science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation or state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens is their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals. Politics, as a science or an art, is a subject of vast extent and importance.

POL'I-TIZE, v.t.

To play the politician. [Not in use.]

POL'I-TURE, n. [See Polish.]

Polish; the gloss given by polishing. [Not used.] – Donne.

POL'I-TY, n. [Gr. πολιτεια.]

  1. The form or constitution of civil government of a nation or state; and in free states, the frame or fundamental system by which the several branches of government are established, and the powers and duties of each designated and defined. Every branch of our civil polity supports and is supported, regulates and is regulated by the rest. – Blackstone. With respect to their interior polity, our colonies are properly of three sorts; provincial establishments, proprietary governments, and charter governments. – Blackstone. The word seems also to embrace legislation and administration of government.
  2. The constitution or general fundamental principles of government of any class of citizens, considered in an appropriate character, or as a subordinate state. Were the whole Christian world to revert back to the original model, how far more simple, uniform and beautiful would the church appear, and how far more agreeable to the ecclesiastical polity instituted by the holy apostles. – President Stiles.

POLL, n. [D. bol, a ball, bowl, crown, poll, pate, bulb.]

  1. The head of a person, or the back part of the head; and in composition, applied to the head of a beast, as in poll-evil.
  2. A register of heads, that is, of persons. – Shak.
  3. The entry of the names of electors who vote for civil officers. Hence,
  4. An election of civil officers, or the place of election. Our citizens say, at the opening or close of the poll, that is, at the beginning of the register of voters and reception of votes, or the close of the same. They say also, we are going to the poll; many voters appeared at the poll. – New York.
  5. A fish called a chub or chevin. [See Pollard.]

POLL, v.t.

  1. To lop the tops of trees. – Bacon.
  2. To clip; to cut off the ends; to cut off hair or wool; to shear. The phrases, to poll the hair, and to poll the head, have been used. The latter is used in 2 Sam. xiv. 26. To poll a deed, is a phrase still used in law language. – Z. Swift.
  3. To mow; to crop. [Not used.] Shak.
  4. To peel; to strip; to plunder. [Obs.] – Bacon. Spenser.
  5. To take a list or register of persons; to enter names in a list.
  6. To enter one's name in a list or register. – Dryden.
  7. To insert into a number as a voter. – Tickel.

POL'LARD, n.1 [from poll.]

  1. A tree lopped. – Bacon.
  2. A clipped coin. – Camden.
  3. The chub fish. – Ainsworth.
  4. A stag that has cast his horns.
  5. A mixture of bran and meal. – Ainsworth.


In gardening, a tree with the top cut off ten or twelve feet from the ground.

POL'LARD, v.t.

To lop the tops of trees; to poll. – Evelyn.



POLL-ED, pp.

Lopped, as tops of trees. [See Poll.]

POL'LEN, n. [L. pollen, pollis, fine flour; Russ. pil, piel, dust, L. pulvis.]

  1. The fecundating dust or fine substance like flour or meal, contained in the anther of flowers, which is dispersed on the stigma for impregnation; farin or farina. – Encyc. Milne. Martyn.
  2. Fine bran. – Bailey.


Consisting of meal.


Brushwood. [Obs.] – Tusser.

POL'LEN-IN, n. [from pollen.]

A substance obtained from the pollen of plants. Pollenin is various as obtained from different plants, and does not appear, in any case, to be a distinct proximate principle, and therefore is not entitled to an appellation appropriated to such proximate principles.