polite

adjective
po·​lite | \ pə-ˈlīt \
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

That’s a polite way of saying lot of luck will be required for Garrett to make the Top 14. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'American Idol' Recap: Ada Vox Once Again Sends Katy Perry's Wig Flying," 16 Apr. 2018 Indeed, the workers there were unfailingly polite to two reporters who showed up unannounced. Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor, "Can Pennsylvania Democrats crack the code in Trump country?," 12 Mar. 2018 Justice is about how much ladies get paid…. Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. De Elizabeth, Glamour, "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Speaks at 2019 Women's March in New York City," 20 Jan. 2019 So in the press fantasy, any time Trump is polite to anyone that is proof of conspiracy. In reality though, is having conversations with Putin or Kim the same as colluding? Fox News, "Gutfeld: The media need to focus on reality instead of fear," 21 July 2018 The Sun also revealed that Kate declined to take a selfie with a fan, but was extremely polite about it. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton’s Nickname for Princess Charlotte Is Beyond Adorable," 26 Dec. 2018 In that initial 11-year time period of waste, bio-matter (the polite term for feces) grew by over 57 million tons. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What If Animal Feces Could Be Recycled for Metals and Valuable Elements?," 29 Nov. 2018 Foreign scammers have been hammering Dakota County, authorities say, preying on the Minnesota Nice culture where folks are too polite to hang up the phone. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Florida just got a lot hotter," 29 Aug. 2018 Elverum is polite but slightly annoyed at the request. Kevin Nguyen, GQ, "You Could Use a Style Upgrade," 11 Apr. 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

11 Feb 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 \
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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