civility

noun
ci·​vil·​i·​ty | \ sə-ˈvi-lə-tē How to pronounce civility (audio) \
plural civilities

Definition of civility

1a : civilized conduct especially : courtesy, politeness bemoaned the decline of civility in our politics
b : a polite act or expression lacked the little civilities and hypocrisies of political society— Roy Jenkins The men briefly exchanged civilities before the meeting began.
2 archaic : training in the humanities

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Examples of civility in a Sentence

They greeted each other with the usual exchange of civilities. after the usual civilities, the parents and the principal had a serious talk about the boy

Recent Examples on the Web

But calling journalists the enemy of the American people, which Trump does regularly, does not help promote civility. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "The Capital Gazette shooting and what’s wrong with the current public discourse about the media," 29 June 2018 The association said Sunday the intent of the dinner's program is to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people. Christina Bellantoni, latimes.com, "How a political dinner made Michelle Wolf a household name," 30 Apr. 2018 But a journalist who parachutes into the Sixth District, expecting to write about tax policy or health care, soon ends up pondering stranger questions: Is civility simply outmoded in 2018, the equivalent of bringing a flintlock musket to a gunfight? Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "A House Majority by ‘Any Means Necessary’," 19 Oct. 2018 Close quarters among guests and crew demand constant interaction, which results in one of the best qualities of a leisure cruise: civility. Michael Ian Black, New York Times, "Cruises Are So Uncool They Are Cool," 3 July 2018 Enter Brown, exit civility Into Clarett's corner slithered Jim Brown -- former Cleveland Browns' running back, civil rights firebrand, Pro Football Hall of Famer and police blotter regular for abuse of women. Zachariah Durr, cleveland.com, "'LeBron's the coach:' Cavaliers fans sound off on playoff win over Pacers, 100-97," 19 Apr. 2018 Some blame President Trump for the decline of civility. Greg Gutfeld, Fox News, "Gutfeld on Dana's slip-up," 2 Aug. 2018 But when that balance is gone ... your civility gives them cover for evil. Aja Romano, Vox, "The new troll: how bots and puppets make internet outrage seem louder than it is," 24 Oct. 2018 In her speech, the Queen called for civility and respect in what many interpreted as a reference to the increasingly toxic Brexit debate in England. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Queen Elizabeth Breaks Important Royal "Rule" by Talking About Brexit," 27 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civility.' 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 civility

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for civility

see civil

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Statistics for civility

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for civility

The first known use of civility was in 1533

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More Definitions for civility

civility

noun

English Language Learners Definition of civility

formal
: polite, reasonable, and respectful behavior
: polite actions and words

civility

noun
ci·​vil·​i·​ty | \ sə-ˈvi-lə-tē How to pronounce civility (audio) \
plural civilities

Kids Definition of civility

1 : polite behavior The sparrows showed no kindness or civility to one another …— Brian Jacques, Redwall
2 : a polite act or thing to say He offered no civilities, not even a hello.

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More from Merriam-Webster on civility

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with civility

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for civility

Spanish Central: Translation of civility

Nglish: Translation of civility for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of civility for Arabic Speakers

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