Definition of impolite in OD:

not having or showing good manners; rude.

Definition of unpolite in TFD:

Not polite; impolite; rude.

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    "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 '15 at 11:02
  • "Unpolite" is not used in British English either (though see my answer for more details). – Uri Granta Mar 15 '15 at 11:22
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    So why is my question downvoted? I think it's a good question. – XPMai Dec 7 '15 at 4:40
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    @XPMai, I cannot understand why. This is (so) fair question. – rdllopes May 24 '16 at 14:13
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    it's not anymore – ribamar Jul 5 '18 at 15:31

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 '15 at 11:27
  • So what are the difference if I say: He is impolite | He is unpolite? – XPMai Mar 16 '15 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 '15 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". – ghostarbeiter Mar 17 '16 at 0:44

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