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

Some see gift cards as an easy way to be polite, and some as an easy way to be rude. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: My wife insists my mom should pay for our child’s plastic surgery," 29 Aug. 2019 When contacted by the club to gauge interest, however, the response was a polite 'thanks but no thanks' from Dembele, who expressed no desire to leave this summer. SI.com, "Ousmane Dembele Rebuffs Interest from PSG as French Champions Attempt Neymar Swap Offer," 16 Aug. 2019 The coverage was skeptical but generally polite, taking the company’s claims in good faith while noting that IdealFuture was probably aiming way too high. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The crowdfunded phone of the future was a multimillion-dollar scam," 13 Aug. 2019 Phase Two was the polite, gentle sorting into different tiers and lanes. Chuck Todd, NBC News, "The 2020 Democratic brawl finally breaks loose," 1 Aug. 2019 My mom has raised me to be polite, grateful and outgoing. Glendale News-Press, "On the Town: Two local women prove to be robust leaders in their own ways," 29 July 2019 Public comments that were supportive of the first four dispensaries often were met with raucous cheers Monday night, compared with polite clapping for comments against the stores. James Queally, latimes.com, "Dispensaries that launched cannabis in West Hollywood can continue to sell recreational pot — for now," 18 June 2019 And while the rhetoric surrounding pot smokers has gotten somewhat more polite, the stigmas and arrest records still reflect this racist history. Amber Senter, Marie Claire, "We Have to Acknowledge That CBD Use Is a Privilege," 11 Apr. 2019 Almost every reputable restaurant in America maintains a blacklist of customers too odious to be seated among polite company—and the entire Trump administration should be on every last one of them. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "Blacklist Every Last One of Them," 26 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near polite

polit

politarch

politburo

polite

politeful

politeia

Polites

Statistics for polite

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for polite

The first known use of polite was circa 1500

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on polite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for polite

Spanish Central: Translation of polite

Nglish: Translation of polite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of polite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on polite

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