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public policy

Definition of Public Policy

(noun) Any course of action or procedure by an individual or group with authority and power that sets priorities (particularly funding), deadlines, and goals that affect members of a group or society.

Example of Public Policy

Public Policy Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: pub·lic pol·i·cy

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /pUHb-lik pAHl-uh-see/
  • British English – /pUHb-lik pOl-i-see/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈpʌblɪk ˈpɑləsi/
  • British English – /ˈpʌblɪk ˈpɒlɪsi/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: public policies
  • A policy maker makes policies.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Public Policy

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “public policy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 19, 2020 (https://sociologydictionary.org/public-policy/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

public policy. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/public-policy/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “public policy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 19, 2020. https://sociologydictionary.org/public-policy/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“public policy.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 19 Oct. 2020. <https://sociologydictionary.org/public-policy/>.