impolitic

adjective
im·​pol·​i·​tic | \(ˌ)im-ˈpä-lə-ˌtik \

Definition of impolitic 

: not politic : unwise

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Other Words from impolitic

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

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 In recent decades, Bierstadt’s reputation has suffered from accusations of commercialism and impolitic visions of the West; here he is largely rescued, but perhaps with too much fervor. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West’ Review: Where the Sublime Joins the Melancholy," 25 June 2018 The latest comments may be his most impolitic and unhelpful, though. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump’s rumored next chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, admits he sold access as a congressman," 25 Apr. 2018 Jarrar has a right to speak, and setting the precedent that professors should be fired for saying gross, atrocious or impolitic things seems like a serious problem. Anna North, Vox, "Conservatives keep sparking “free speech” battles. When a Muslim professor tweeted about racism, guess what happened?," 24 Apr. 2018 And Anthony Scaramucci did it for 10 days before being shown the door for impolitic and profane comments about colleagues. Philip Elliott, Time, "Why Hope Hicks Resigning Matters," 2 Mar. 2018 After Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power in 2012 and talked down the yen in a bid to help Japan’s export firms, many viewed the jawboning as impolitic and a risk to sparking competitive devaluation and volatility in markets. Don Lee, Philly.com, "With U.S. trade in mind, Trump administration talks down dollar to three-year low," 25 Jan. 2018 After Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power in 2012 and talked down the yen in a bid to help Japan's export firms, many viewed the jawboning as impolitic and a risk to sparking competitive devaluation and volatility in markets. Don Lee, latimes.com, "With U.S. trade in mind, Trump administration talks down dollar to three-year low," 25 Jan. 2018 Critics, repulsed by Trump’s impolitic language and mannerisms, are reluctant to give him credit, ascribing improvements to processes in motion prior to his arrival in office or broader systemic forces. Jerry Hendrix, National Review, "Trump and His Strategy of Ambiguity," 8 Jan. 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.

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First Known Use of impolitic

circa 1600, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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The first known use of impolitic was circa 1600

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