civil

adjective
civ·​il | \ ˈsi-vəl How to pronounce civil (audio) \

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 Obama campaign’s infractions were civil, not criminal. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump claims innocence in probe; wall myths," 7 Jan. 2019 Marca also notes that both parties are keen for the exit to be 'positive and civil'. SI.com, "Man Utd Consider Attempt to Beat Juventus to €100m Ronaldo Deal as Real Madrid Exit Looms," 6 July 2018 Phillips' attorney Steve Komie told the Tribune the review board determined Phillips hadn't violated any civil, canon or criminal law. Fox News, "Chicago priest stripped of duties amid misconduct probe," 25 June 2018 But beneath the surface, there is a perpetual simmering resentment of cultural, economic, and political domination by the Colossus to the South, the not-so-civil United States. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Insults Are Bringing Out Canada’s Inner Fiery Nationalism," 12 June 2018 Police have submitted a report to the Transportation Security Administration for possible civil penalties, the Associated Press reported. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "Bomb scare at Phoenix airport caused by unattended car; driver only getting $52 parking ticket," 18 Sep. 2018 The letter appeared to be an attempt to memorialize that these events happened, the person said, and that the actions are violations that carry civil penalties or be subject to criminal prosecution. New York Times, "Federal Officials Claim de Blasio Crossed Border Illegally," 11 July 2018 Theranos reached a settlement with the federal agency, agreeing to a two-year ban from the blood-testing business and a $30,000 civil penalty. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "As Theranos drama unwinds, former patients claim inaccurate tests changed their lives," 5 July 2018 Many details about the federal probe remain unknown, including whether investigators are considering criminal charges or civil penalties for the companies involved. BostonGlobe.com, "FBI, SEC also investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica," 3 July 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

22 Mar 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 How to pronounce civil (audio) \

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 How to pronounce civil (audio) \

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

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