polite

adjective
po·​lite | \ pə-ˈlīt How to pronounce polite (audio) \
politer; politest

Definition of polite

1a : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of advanced culture
b : marked by refined cultural interests and pursuits especially in arts and belles lettres
2a : showing or characterized by correct social usage
b : marked by an appearance of consideration, tact, deference, or courtesy
c : marked by a lack of roughness or crudities polite literature

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from polite

politely adverb
politeness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for polite

civil, polite, courteous, gallant, chivalrous mean observant of the forms required by good breeding. civil often suggests little more than the avoidance of overt rudeness. owed the questioner a civil reply polite commonly implies polish of speech and manners and sometimes suggests an absence of cordiality. if you can't be pleasant, at least be polite courteous implies more actively considerate or dignified politeness. clerks who were unfailingly courteous to customers gallant and chivalrous imply courteous attentiveness especially to women. gallant suggests spirited and dashing behavior and ornate expressions of courtesy. a gallant suitor of the old school chivalrous suggests high-minded and self-sacrificing behavior. a chivalrous display of duty

Examples of polite in a Sentence

It was polite of him to hold the door for them. Please be polite to the guests. It isn't polite to interrupt people when they're talking. She received some polite applause despite the mistakes in her performance.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The officer said the driver and passenger, who were dropped off at a local gas station for pick-up, were polite during the incident. John Benson, cleveland, "Akron speeder with suspended license leads police to open container: Brecksville Police Blotter," 31 Mar. 2021 All of the therapists said Watson was polite during the sessions and did not act inappropriately. NBC News, "Two more women accuse Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct," 31 Mar. 2021 To say the Boone hotel had modest accommodations would be polite. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "'Bob Knight? The coach from Army?' How Indiana basketball changed course 50 years ago," 27 Mar. 2021 It’s been 30 years since a bunch of strangers moved into a New York City loft and started a reality TV wave that chronicles what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. oregonlive, "Last chance to get 30 days of Paramount Plus for free, plus 5 things to watch including NCAA Tournament games, Star Trek Picard and more," 26 Mar. 2021 All the customers need to do is be polite with the staff when bringing in their devices for repairs. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "This ‘secret’ Apple retail store trick might get you free repairs and replacements," 18 Mar. 2021 Brant offered a spray, then a small sponge for swabbing the mouth. Lopez tried to be polite. Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times, "She was dying of COVID-19. Her last hope would save her or kill her," 12 Mar. 2021 As the show’s intro promised, sometimes these 20-somethings really did stop being polite and started getting real. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "The Real World Homecoming: New York Is a Welcome Revisit of a Reality-TV Time Capsule," 4 Mar. 2021 And television has never been the same since May 21, 1992, when MTV introduced America to seven strangers picked to live in a loft and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. Judy Berman, Time, "The Real World Homecoming: New York," 4 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of polite

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for polite

Middle English (Scots) polit, Latin politus, from past participle of polire

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about polite

Time Traveler for polite

Time Traveler

The first known use of polite was circa 1500

See more words from the same year

Statistics for polite

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Polite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polite. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for polite

polite

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of polite

: having or showing good manners or respect for other people
: socially correct or proper

polite

adjective
po·​lite | \ pə-ˈlīt How to pronounce polite (audio) \
politer; politest

Kids Definition of polite

: showing courtesy or good manners

Other Words from polite

politely adverb
politeness noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on polite

What made you want to look up polite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!