The Joy of Language Learning

Politic, Impolitic, Apolitical

Political originally meant concerned with policy or administration of the polis. As the competition for the control of city administration increased, people resorted to unfair means and the very word politics became synonymous with power struggle and manipulation (as in play politics or office politics). Politic (originally: constitutional), similarly carries both positive and negative connotations. It is generally used to mean judicious or prudent (as in, they found it politic to not pursue the project any further), but can also be used to convey the sense of diplomatic and shrewd/cunning – the politic spokesperson replied to all questions but answered none.

Impolitic though is used only in the negative sense of not according to good policy or injudicious. Someone apolitical, similarly, is uninterested in politics and an apolitical campaign is politically neutral.

High Frequency Words for GRE, GMAT, SAT, CAT & Other Admission Tests*:

Politics, Politic*, Impolitic*, Apolitical*

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