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

Definition of impolitic

: not politic : unwise

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 The limp origin story of Many Saints insidiously endorses impolitic behavior. Armond White, National Review, 6 Oct. 2021 This was in some respects an impolitic, even impolite, thing for the first-term politician to say. Michael Tomasky, The New York Review of Books, 26 Mar. 2020 In a lot of circles this would be a radical notion, or at least an impolitic one. Washington Post, 26 May 2021 Their endless verbiage makes some long for silence — for the bliss of quiet and the end of the impolitic phrase. Washington Post, 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, 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, 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, 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, 3 Jan. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of impolitic

circa 1600, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of impolitic was circa 1600

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Cite this Entry

“Impolitic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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