civility

noun ci·vil·i·ty \ sə-ˈvi-lə-tē \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

Definition of civility

plural civilities
1 archaic :training in the humanities
2 a :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.

Examples of civility in a Sentence

  1. They greeted each other with the usual exchange of civilities.

  2. after the usual civilities, the parents and the principal had a serious talk about the boy

Recent Examples of civility from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of civility

see civil


CIVILITY Defined for English Language Learners

civility

noun

Definition of civility for English Language Learners

  • : polite, reasonable, and respectful behavior

  • civilities : polite actions and words


CIVILITY Defined for Kids

civility

noun ci·vil·i·ty \ sə-ˈvi-lə-tē \

Definition of civility for Students

plural civilities
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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