im·​pol·​i·​tic | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpä-lə-ˌtik How to pronounce impolitic (audio) \

Definition of impolitic

: not politic : unwise

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from impolitic

impolitical \ (ˌ)im-​pə-​ˈli-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce impolitic (audio) \ adjective
impolitically \ (ˌ)im-​pə-​ˈli-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce impolitic (audio) \ adverb
impoliticly \ (ˌ)im-​ˈpä-​lə-​ˌti-​klē How to pronounce impolitic (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Impolitic appeared 400 years ago as an antonym of "politic," a word that basically means "shrewd," "sagacious," or "tactful." "Politic" came to us via Middle French from Latin politicus. The Latin word, in turn, came from a Greek word based on politēs, meaning "citizen." "Impolitic" has often been used to refer to action or policy on the part of public figures that is politically unwise-from British statesman Edmund Burke's judicious "the most ... impolitick of all things, unequal taxation" (1797) to People journalist James Kunen's ironic "The author of these impolitic remarks has risen to the very pinnacle of politics" (1988).

Examples of impolitic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Their endless verbiage makes some long for silence — for the bliss of quiet and the end of the impolitic phrase. Washington Post, "Just let them keep talking," 16 Mar. 2021 But he was ultimately forced from the air because his views were so impolitic stations eventually could not tolerate them. Bill Carter For Cnn Busniess Perspectivies, CNN, "Rush Limbaugh opened the airwaves to extremist commentary and built an empire," 19 Feb. 2021 Many others from public-facing institutions and businesses have been sanctioned, demoted, suspended, or fired for impolitic statements online in recent days. Andrew Dalton, Fortune, "People are getting fired over racist, violent, and insensitive social media posts," 4 June 2020 Bergman later conceded the impolitic nature of her remark, given the presence of the other losing actresses — Madeline Kahn, Diane Ladd and Talia Shire. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, "Valentina Cortese, Oscar nominee in Truffaut’s ‘Day for Night,’ dies at 96," 10 July 2019 Even Republicans who drink endless war like Olympian nectar concede that Suleimani’s killing was impolitic vengeance with no clear security advantage. Adam Weinstein, The New Republic, "The Pinnacle of Trump’s Foreign Policy Stupidity," 3 Jan. 2020 Despite abundant criticism for his blunt and impolitic rhetoric as Metro board chairman, Evans helped focus the region’s attention on the need for dedicated funding for the transit system and aggressive steps to catch up on overdue maintenance. Robert Mccartney, Washington Post, "Harm to D.C.’s image will only grow as long as Jack Evans clings to council seat.," 10 Nov. 2019 The event was raucous and impolitic and placed Fox News at the center of the primary. Sarah Ellison, Washington Post, "MSNBC is both a news channel and face of the Resistance. How will that impact the Democratic primary debate?," 22 June 2019 Johnson has repeatedly run into trouble for off-the-cuff and impolitic remarks. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Trump could handle Brexit better than Theresa May, Boris Johnson says," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impolitic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of impolitic

circa 1600, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impolitic

Time Traveler for impolitic

Time Traveler

The first known use of impolitic was circa 1600

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about impolitic

Statistics for impolitic

Last Updated

22 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impolitic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on impolitic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impolitic

Nglish: Translation of impolitic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on impolitic

What made you want to look up impolitic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!