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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web There was the occasional polite applause from the dozens of tournament workers allowed in the stands — and, deep into the match, yells from the players' entourages. CBS News, "Dominic Thiem earns first Grand Slam title after losing first two sets at U.S. Open Final," 14 Sep. 2020 There was the occasional polite applause from the dozens of tournament workers allowed in the stands — and, deep into the match, yells from the players' entourages. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Dominic Thiem is first man since 1949 to win U.S. Open final after ceding first 2 sets," 14 Sep. 2020 Instead, a polite smattering of claps from several hands marked such moments. Bloomberg.com, "Naomi Osaka Comes Back, Beats Azarenka for 2nd US Open Title," 12 Sep. 2020 But even though there was a consensus that action was needed, there was disagreement, albeit polite, over which party was at fault. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Congress' gridlock over next round of coronavirus relief emerges as key issue in Texas battleground races," 10 Sep. 2020 What would have been the polite way to avoid eating at her house? Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Eating at friend’s house is distressing," 9 Sep. 2020 Some restaurants may honor a polite request to eat a takeout-style meal at a table — i.e. a meal served in cardboard or plastic containers, which are less exposed than traditional cutlery and dinnerware. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "Is It Safe to Eat at Restaurants Again? How to Reduce COVID-19 Risks If You Eat Out," 24 June 2020 The police responded immediately and were very polite and professional. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Don’t let fear of socialism block spread of good ideas; Confronting racism personally; Documenting slavery; more letters (2/28/20)," 28 Feb. 2020 His former property manager called him polite, respectful and fun. Katie Galioto, Star Tribune, "'The best father': Family and friends ask judge to release suspect in Iron Range cold case," 27 Aug. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for polite

Time Traveler

The first known use of polite was circa 1500

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Statistics for polite

Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Polite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polite. Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for polite

polite

adjective
How to pronounce polite (audio)

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

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Comments on polite

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