in·​ci·​vil·​i·​ty | \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈvi-lə-tē \

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

Supreme Court confirmation hearings for nominees of Republican presidents have become embarrassing and shameful spectacles of hypocrisy and incivility. WSJ, "Kavanaugh Brings Out the Swamp Creatures," 11 Sep. 2018 All this has saturated media with a sudden summer concern about America’s awful incivility., "A long tradition: Americans behaving badly," 5 July 2018 The left-wing incivility has been around before Donald Trump and around for a while. Fox News, "Watters' Words: The uncivil left," 1 July 2018 The allegation that contemporary activists expressing ardently peaceful dissatisfaction with the precarious state of American democracy are promoting violence, incivility or worse is a long-running tactic used to stifle change. Peniel E. Joseph, Washington Post, "America’s nonviolent civil rights movement was considered uncivil by critics at the time," 4 July 2018 Civility starts at the top — and Trump’s behavior only encourages both his allies and foes to use the same kind of incivility against each other. Chuck Todd, NBC News, "Why the Indiana Senate race might actually be the best midterm bellwether in the country," 25 June 2018 But if the choice is between two brands of incivility, the Democratic version generally loses. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Teeing Off on Trump," 27 June 2018 The position Axelrod espouses here typically goes like this: Trump relishes incivility, and by stooping to his level, good and decent people will further deepen the chasm that threatens to divide this country on a permanent basis. Jay Willis, GQ, "Public Shaming Is Powerful," 25 June 2018 Activists on the left responded that Trump is a champion of incivility. Anthony Man,, "Fort Lauderdale mayor favors in-your-face confrontation of Trump officials," 3 July 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

24 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for incivility

The first known use of incivility was in 1584

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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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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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