Definition of impolite in OD:

not having or showing good manners; rude.

Definition of unpolite in TFD:

Not polite; impolite; rude.

  • 1
    "Unpolite" is not used by well-educated English speakers in the US. (Can't say about the UK or other places.)
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 15, 2015 at 11:02
  • "Unpolite" is not used in British English either (though see my answer for more details).
    – Uri Granta
    Mar 15, 2015 at 11:22
  • 1
    So why is my question downvoted? I think it's a good question.
    – XPMai
    Dec 7, 2015 at 4:40
  • 1
    @XPMai, I cannot understand why. This is (so) fair question.
    – rdllopes
    May 24, 2016 at 14:13
  • 1
    it's not anymore
    – ribamar
    Jul 5, 2018 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


The key difference is that unpolite is now archaic/incorrect and so should be avoided, though it was once the more common form (see Google Ngram Viewer). When both were still in use, it appears they were largely synonymous. For example, Webster's 1828 dictionary defines them as follows:


  1. Not refined in manners; not elegant.
  2. Not civil; not courteous; rude. [See Impolite.]

IMPOLI'TE, a. Not of polished manners; unpolite; uncivil; rude in manners.

  • Example usage of unpolite: "You recollect that first night, when I was so unpolite and inky?" [Bleak House by Charles Dickens, 1853]
    – Uri Granta
    Mar 15, 2015 at 11:27
  • So what are the difference if I say: He is impolite | He is unpolite?
    – XPMai
    Mar 16, 2015 at 6:11
  • 200 years ago there was no difference. Nowadays, you should always say "He is impolite" because unpolite is no longer in use.
    – Uri Granta
    Mar 16, 2015 at 8:13
  • "Unpolite" was a variant form in the 19th century but is very rarely used today and would be considered incorrect. The same is true of "unfrequent", which was once more common than "infrequent". Mar 17, 2016 at 0:44

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