in·​ci·​vil·​i·​ty | \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈvi-lə-tē How to pronounce incivility (audio) \

Definition of incivility

1 : the quality or state of being uncivil
2 : a rude or discourteous act

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Examples of incivility in a Sentence

We chose to ignore their little insults and incivilities. I won't tolerate incivility, and that includes text messaging while I'm speaking.

Recent Examples on the Web

David French, a writer at National Review and a lawyer for conservative causes is perhaps best known as one of the right’s most prominent critics of both Donald Trump -- having considered a run against him in 2016 -- as well as political incivility. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Right Wing’s Cultural Civil War Is a Drag," 9 Sep. 2019 Hear how colleagues across the country are fighting off the rising tide of incivility and using safeguards to protect themselves and the legislative institution. Dallas News, "Activist urges release of Bonnen tapes, O'Rourke slams Trump, new prez race poll, Marchant bows out," 6 Aug. 2019 For much of the first half of the twentieth century, the dominant culture’s conception of black people was mired in racist tropes, exaggerated and dehumanizing characterizations that transmitted criminality and incivility. Syreeta Mcfadden, The Atlantic, "Why Ebony Magazine’s Archives Were Saved," 31 July 2019 When there’s such incivility, there’s no room for compromise. Jessie Balmert,, "Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose: President Trump's weekend tweets were 'racist,' calls for civility in politics," 16 July 2019 But this kind of incivility always strikes me as so…creepy. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: In Appreciation of the Serena/Murray Doubles Team at Wimbledon," 10 July 2019 In major newspapers, sensational reports of Fourth of July incivilities were rampant. Michael Waters, Smithsonian, "The 1900s Movement to Make the Fourth of July Boring (But Safe)," 3 July 2019 The topic is heating up amid rising concern about harassment on social media and incivility in public life. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "Your Lonely Child’s Path to a Happier Life," 30 Oct. 2018 But perhaps most worrisome is the effect of all this growing incivility. William Wan,, "We often fight rudeness with rudeness. And it can be contagious, research shows," 27 June 2018

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

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for incivility

Middle French incivilité, from Late Latin incivilitat-, incivilitas, from incivilis, from Latin in- + civilis civil

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Statistics for incivility

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for incivility

The first known use of incivility was in 1584

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More Definitions for incivility



English Language Learners Definition of incivility

: a rude or impolite attitude or behavior : lack of civility
: a rude or impolite act

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Comments on incivility

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concealment of treason or felony

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