adjective po·lite \pə-ˈlīt\

: having or showing good manners or respect for other people

: socially correct or proper


Full Definition of POLITE

a :  of, relating to, or having the characteristics of advanced culture
b :  marked by refined cultural interests and pursuits especially in arts and belles lettres
a :  showing or characterized by correct social usage
b :  marked by an appearance of consideration, tact, deference, or courtesy
c :  marked by a lack of roughness or crudities <polite literature>
po·lite·ly adverb
po·lite·ness noun

Examples of POLITE

  1. It was polite of him to hold the door for them.
  2. Please be polite to the guests.
  3. It isn't polite to interrupt people when they're talking.
  4. She received some polite applause despite the mistakes in her performance.

Origin of POLITE

Middle English (Scots) polit, Latin politus, from past participle of polire
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of POLITE

civil, polite, courteous, gallant, chivalrous mean observant of the forms required by good breeding. civil often suggests little more than the avoidance of overt rudeness <owed the questioner a civil reply>. polite commonly implies polish of speech and manners and sometimes suggests an absence of cordiality <if you can't be pleasant, at least be polite>. courteous implies more actively considerate or dignified politeness <clerks who were unfailingly courteous to customers>. gallant and chivalrous imply courteous attentiveness especially to women. gallant suggests spirited and dashing behavior and ornate expressions of courtesy <a gallant suitor of the old school>. chivalrous suggests high-minded and self-sacrificing behavior <a chivalrous display of duty>.
POLITELY Defined for Kids


adjective po·lite \pə-ˈlīt\

Definition of POLITE for Kids

:  showing courtesy or good manners
po·lite·ly adverb
po·lite·ness noun


Next Word in the Dictionary: politefulPrevious Word in the Dictionary: politburoAll Words Near: polite
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