1. a social science dealing with political policies and economic processes, their interrelations, and their influence on social institutions.
2. (in the 17th–18th centuries) the art of management of communities, esp. as affecting the wealth of a government.
3. (in the 19th century) a social science similar to modern economics but dealing chiefly with governmental policies.
4. economics (def. 1).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.