civil

adjective
civ·​il | \ ˈsi-vəl \

Definition of civil

1a : of or relating to citizens civil duties
b : of or relating to the state or its citizenry civil strife
2a : civilized civil society
b : adequate in courtesy and politeness : mannerly a civil question It was hard to be civil when I felt so angry.
3a : of, relating to, or based on civil law
b : relating to private rights and to remedies sought by action or suit distinct from criminal proceedings
c : established by law civil freedoms
4 : of, relating to, or involving the general public, their activities, needs, or ways, or civic affairs as distinguished from special (such as military or religious) affairs got married in a civil ceremony
5 of time : based on the mean sun and legally recognized for use in ordinary affairs the civil calendar

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Synonyms & Antonyms for civil

Synonyms

national, public

Antonyms

nonnational

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Choose the Right Synonym for civil

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

civil, polite, and courteous mean following the rules of good behavior. civil is used for showing only enough proper behavior to avoid being actually rude. I know you're angry but try to be civil. polite is used of good manners and thoughtfulness. The host was polite and made us feel at home. courteous is usually used for a politeness that is somewhat dignified. The salesclerks were trained to be courteous always.

Examples of civil in a Sentence

They got married in a civil ceremony at city hall. It was hard to be civil when I felt so angry. She was barely civil to me.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The civil suit delays were predicated on concerns that any further litigation over the validity of a settlement agreement associated with the $130,000 payment could compromise Cohen’s constitutional rights in the criminal case. Lee Ross, Fox News, "Stormy Daniels' legal fight with Trump returns to LA courtroom," 24 Sep. 2018 The civil suit, initially filed about nine years ago, accuses him of fraud, violations of the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act and breach of contract. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Federal suit against disgraced Tundra Village developer goes to trial," 11 July 2018 Equally alarming to many was his argument that sitting presidents should be exempted from civil suits and criminal prosecution — a pretty obvious reason for the embattled administration to have picked him. refinery29.com, "All 34 Official Nods For Brett Kavanaugh Were By Men. Here's What 34 Women Think.," 10 July 2018 The two troopers, Ryan Sceviour and Alli Rei, still have a similar civil suit pending in Suffolk Superior Court. Andrea Estes, BostonGlobe.com, "Federal judge tosses troopers’ suit over altered arrest reports," 9 July 2018 Conley's lawsuit was filed on Monday in reaction to a civil suit the woman filed in April. Jenna West, SI.com, "Report: Raiders' Gareon Conley Files Countersuit Against Rape Accuser," 5 July 2018 Brown also has faced separate litigation over providing timely access to electronically filed civil suits. Elyssa Cherney, chicagotribune.com, "After months of delay, Cook County begins first day of electronic filing for civil cases," 2 July 2018 The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit in March. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "The Theranos Indictments Expose the Soul of Silicon Valley," 15 June 2018 Asgar has also filed a civil suit against Howard and another neighbor who came into the house during the walk-through. Jessica Campisi And Tina Burnside, CNN, "A man, who threatened to burn down a Muslim family's house if they moved in, is sentenced to prison," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of civil

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for civil

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin civilis, from civis — see civic

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Statistics for civil

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for civil

The first known use of civil was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for civil

civil

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of civil

: of or relating to the people who live in a country

: of or relating to the regular business of the people in a city, town, state, etc. : not connected to the military or to a religion

: polite but not friendly : only as polite as a person needs to be in order to not be rude

civil

adjective
civ·​il | \ ˈsi-vəl \

Kids Definition of civil

1 : of or relating to citizens civil rights
2 : of or relating to matters within a country
3 : of or relating to the regular business of citizens or government that is not connected to the military or a religion
4 : polite without being friendly Those men, they used to be best friends. Now they can't be civil with each other.— Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust
5 : relating to laws about private rights rather than criminal laws She brought a civil lawsuit against the maker of the defective car.

Other Words from civil

civilly adverb You must treat the other team civilly, at least.

civil

adjective
civ·​il | \ ˈsi-vəl \

Legal Definition of civil

1 : concerning, befitting, or applying to individual citizens or to citizens as a whole a civil duty — see also civil right
2 : marked by public order : peaceable in behavior
3 : of or relating to a legal system based on Roman law as opposed to the English common law
4 : relating to private rights and to judicial proceedings in connection with them especially : relating to legal matters other than those characterized as criminal a civil action a civil infraction
5 : defined by law : legal a civil disability
6 : of, relating to, or involving the general public, their activities, needs, ways, or civic affairs as distinguished from special (as military or religious) affairs the civil authorities the civil service

Other Words from civil

civilly adverb

History and Etymology for civil

Latin civilis, from civis citizen

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More from Merriam-Webster on civil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with civil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for civil

Spanish Central: Translation of civil

Nglish: Translation of civil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of civil for Arabic Speakers

Comments on civil

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