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

A year later, Palmer’s family still has questions about what happened and is pursuing both criminal and civil cases. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A man went to resolve a DUI. He died at a prison days later.," 9 June 2019 A year later, Palmer’s family still has questions about what happened, and are pursuing both criminal and civil cases. Kayla Epstein, Washington Post, "‘So much mystery’: After a man died in prison, his body was returned without vital organs.," 6 June 2019 Ultimately, the report suggests paving the way for teens to be able to get civil and criminal protection orders from the court, along with other legal options that could help protect them. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Teen Girls Are Killed By a Current or Ex Partner More Often Than We Think," 18 Apr. 2019 Peter Armbruster, who served as the company’s CFO for about seven years through April 2017, was charged in criminal and civil complaints along with Mark Wogsland and Bret Naggs, former controllers for the company’s truckload segment. ... Maria Armental, WSJ, "Three Ex-Roadrunner Transportation Executives Charged With Accounting Fraud," 3 Apr. 2019 Both the civil and criminal cases against Becker were ongoing. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Chris Becker, Baltimore chef and former Bagby Restaurant Group CEO, dies," 27 June 2018 In early 2015, in collaboration with local tech civil society groups, Facebook made a set of digital stickers available on the messenger platform. Timothy Mclaughlin, WIRED, "How Facebook’s Rise Fueled Chaos and Confusion in Myanmar," 6 July 2018 Many of the civil-society groups that fight corruption are unenthusiastic about Mr López Obrador’s presidency. The Economist, "The victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador starts a new era in Mexico," 2 July 2018 Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Pilot of Doomed Ethiopian Airlines Flight Reported Control Problems Shortly After Takeoff," 13 Mar. 2019

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

14 Jun 2019

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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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