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

Trump’s enablers in Congress helped put an end to the madness because something more important (to them) than the rule of law, civility, ethics, equality, global stability, mature policymaking, and the environment was at stake: Money. Timothy L. O'brien, The Denver Post, "O’Brien: Donald Trump’s failures — like his abandoned tariffs on Mexico — make him even more dangerous," 10 June 2019 Lamar Alexander’s last act began last summer and ended in a disappointing failure — a perfect proxy for the erosion of civility and compromise in modern politics. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Lamar Alexander, pillar of Washington’s old guard, is retiring from the Senate," 17 Dec. 2018 His civility and gentleness weren’t charades paraded for the public moment. WSJ, "Rest in Peace, George Herbert Walker Bush," 5 Dec. 2018 But his fiery confirmation hearings this past week left a lot of Americans asking about civility and bipartisanship on Capitol Hill. Fox News, "Sen. Lindsey Graham on Kavanaugh hearings, bid to declassify documents," 9 Sep. 2018 The party of civility and decorum will have to show some backbone here. Jay Willis, GQ, "Why Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Is Even Worse Than You Think," 27 June 2018 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

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

15 Jun 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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