Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to policy: public policy
big stick policy
In politics, a policy of attempting peaceful negotiations while also being prepared for confrontation by displaying one's power, especially military force. Associated with US President Theodore Roosevelt, who put these principles into practice and popularized the phrase "speak softly and carry a big stick." The big stick policy that Roosevelt used in foreign affairs relied heavily on the military forces he had at his disposal.
honesty is the best policy
proverb Telling the truth is always the best course of action, even when being dishonest would be easier or more useful. I think you should just explain what happened, rather than trying to cover your tracks. Honesty is the best policy, after all. Secrets like that will always find their way to the surface, so honesty is definitely the best policy.
1. A policy that one is always available to be of guidance, support, aid, or assistance whenever needed. Said especially by an employer or teacher to an employee or pupil. I know you've been going through some tough times lately, so if you ever need someone to talk to, I want you to know that I have an open-door policy. Mrs. Spencer is a great teacher, and she has an open-door policy if we ever have any questions or fall behind.
2. A governmental border policy that encourages immigration, tourism, trade, and investment. The country's population exploded in the 1980s after it implemented an open-door policy for foreign nationals seeking to establish permanent residence. Our aim is to have an open-door policy with our neighboring nations when it comes to imports and exports.
See also: policy
The practice of avoiding, or trying to avoid, a particular situation by pretending that it does not exist. The phrase refers to the common but mistaken belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when frightened, so as to avoid being seen. Lou, you can't keep adopt this ostrich policy when it comes your health—please, make an appointment with your doctor and get that rash checked out! The government seems determined to maintain an ostrich policy in relation to the looming troubles many analysts have predicted for the financial markets.
policy of pin pricks
A government policy that is regarded as particularly petty. The phrase was first applied to tense relations between England and France at the end of the 19th century. How long do we have to suffer under this policy of pin pricks before they finally repeal it?
1. Of or describing a military strategy or policy in which anything of potential use to an enemy is targeted for destruction. The country's army operated a scorched-earth policy, burning farms, bombing food stores, and poisoning water supplies to drive enemy forces out of the region.
2. Of or describing a strategy of attacking anything and everything related to one's opponents or enemies. The senator's scorched-earth reelection campaign has resulted in caustic, bile-ridden attacks on every facet of his opponent's career, policies, and even her personal life.
3. Of or describing a financial strategy of selling a company's most lucrative assets or acquiring a large amount of debt, so as to discourage a takeover. A: "I hear the CEO is seriously considering abandoning the takeover bid now, in light of all the debt the target company has." B: "I guess their scorched-earth tactics really worked then."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Honesty is the best policy.
Prov. You should always tell the truth, even when it seems as if it would be useful to tell a lie. Jill: I borrowed Jane's white blouse without asking her, and then I spilled tomato sauce on it. Should I tell her what happened, or should I just put the blouse back in her closet and hope she won't notice? Jane: Honesty is the best policy.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.