What does policy mean?

Definitions for policy
ˈpɒl ə sipol·i·cy

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word policy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. policynoun

    a plan of action adopted by an individual or social group

    "it was a policy of retribution"; "a politician keeps changing his policies"

  2. policynoun

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

    "they debated the policy or impolicy of the proposed legislation"

  3. policy, insurance policy, insurancenoun

    written contract or certificate of insurance

    "you should have read the small print on your policy"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Policynoun

    Etymology: πολιτεία; politia, Lat.

    The policy of that purpose is made more in the marriage, than the love of the parties. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleopatra.

    If it be honour in your wars to seem
    The same you are not, which for your best ends
    You call your policy; how is’t less or worse,
    But it shall hold companionship in peace
    With honour as in war. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    If she be curst, it is for policy,
    For she’s not froward, but modest. William Shakespeare.

    The best rule of policy, is to prefer the doing of justice before all enjoyments. Charles I .

    The wisdom of this world is sometimes taken in scripture for policy, and consists in a certain dexterity of managing business for a man’s secular advantage. Robert South, Sermons.


  1. policy

    A policy is a principle or rule that is created or proposed by an organization, government, business, or individual to guide decisions and achieve desired outcomes. It is generally adopted to reach certain objectives or targets, and provides a framework for consistent actions or behaviors. Policies can be formal or informal, and may be written down or simply understood. The intent of crafting a policy is to influence and determine major decisions and actions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Policynoun

    civil polity

  2. Policynoun

    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

  3. Policynoun

    the method by which any institution is administered; system of management; course

  4. Policynoun

    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

  5. Policynoun

    prudence or wisdom in the management of public and private affairs; wisdom; sagacity; wit

  6. Policynoun

    motive; object; inducement

  7. Policyverb

    to regulate by laws; to reduce to order

  8. Policynoun

    a ticket or warrant for money in the public funds

  9. Policynoun

    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

  10. Policynoun

    a method of gambling by betting as to what numbers will be drawn in a lottery; as, to play policy

  11. Etymology: [F. police; cf. Pr. polissia, Sp. plizia, It. plizza; of uncertain origin; cf. L. pollex thumb (as being used in pressing the seal), in LL. also, seal; or cf. LL. politicum, poleticum, polecticum, L. polyptychum, account book, register, fr. Gr. having many folds or leaves; many + fold, leaf, from to fold; or cf. LL. apodixa a receipt.]


  1. Policy

    A policy is a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by the Board of or senior governance body within an organization whereas procedures or protocols would be developed and adopted by senior executive officers. Policies can assist in both subjective and objective decision making. Policies to assist in subjective decision making would usually assist senior management with decisions that must consider the relative merits of a number of factors before making decisions and as a result are often hard to objectively test e.g. work-life balance policy. In contrast policies to assist in objective decision making are usually operational in nature and can be objectively tested e.g. password policy. The term may apply to government, private sector organizations and groups, and individuals. Presidential executive orders, corporate privacy policies, and parliamentary rules of order are all examples of policy. Policy differs from rules or law. While law can compel or prohibit behaviors, policy merely guides actions toward those that are most likely to achieve a desired outcome.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Policy

    pol′i-si, n. the art or manner of regulating or guiding conduct: the method and forms according to which the government and business of a country are carried on: a system of administration guided more by interest than by principle: dexterity of management: prudence: cunning: in Scotland, (esp. in pl.) the pleasure-grounds around a mansion. [O. Fr. policie (Fr. police)—L. politia—Gr. politeia.]

  2. Policy

    pol′i-si, n. a warrant for money in the funds: a writing containing a contract of insurance: a kind of gambling by betting on the numbers to be drawn in a lottery.—n. Pol′icy-hold′er, one who holds a policy or contract of insurance. [Fr. police, a policy—L. polyptychum, a register—Gr. polyptychonpolys, many, ptyx, ptychos, fold.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. policy

    Leaving a few things unsaid.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. policy

    A written contract, by which the insurers oblige themselves to indemnify sea-risks under various conditions. An interest policy, is where the insurer has a real assignable interest in the thing insured; a wager policy, is where the insurer has no substantial interest in the thing insured; an open policy, is where the amount of interest is not fixed, but left to be ascertained in case of loss; a valued policy, is where an actual value has been set on the ship or goods.

Editors Contribution

  1. policy

    An intention or plan of action.

    The governmental policy was one of unity and multi-party working for the benefit of everyone within a country, nation or state.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 16, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. policy

    Song lyrics by policy -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by policy on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Policy is ranked #154907 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Policy surname appeared 105 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Policy.

    94.2% or 99 total occurrences were White.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'policy' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #332

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'policy' in Written Corpus Frequency: #421

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'policy' in Nouns Frequency: #61

How to pronounce policy?

How to say policy in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of policy in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of policy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of policy in a Sentence

  1. Adam Sarhan:

    Monetary policy from the Fed is forward looking and GDP by definition is a rear view mirror and the important thing now is that it wasn't a big miss.

  2. Rhodium Group:

    It is certainly feasible, but will likely require a fairly significant change in policy in the very near future, and/or favorable market and technological conditions.

  3. Mateusz Morawiecki:

    NATO's eastern flank needs to be strengthened because Russia's aggressive policy has not, unfortunately, ended, this aggression hasn't diminished in any way. President Trump must have come to the same conclusions.

  4. Pedro Passos Coelho:

    The choice we have is clear: between the path of reforms that is gradual and secure, and the path of unrealistic political programs following immediate goals, i will not collaborate and will oppose any negative policy leading to Portugal's ruin, where the Portuguese are seen as mere instruments of political power games.

  5. White House:

    Moore currently leads Dewey Square Group’s State and Local Affairs and Multicultural Strategies practices, where she helps clients build coalitions and engage on public policy goals.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for policy

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"policy." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/policy>.

Discuss these policy definitions with the community:

1 Comment
  • Annie Luckett
    Annie Luckett
    I think a policy is a princible or rules to guide, to guide my decisions and achieve rational outcome.

    To avoid plagiarism, you must write a story in your own words, because if you write words for words that is plagiarism. 
    LikeReply 28 years ago

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base and cowardly
A currish
B inexpiable
C flabby
D commensal

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