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 Whether it’s outbreaks of tornados or hurricanes blowing in from the Gulf, weather isn’t just a topic of polite conversation here. al, "Life in a time of Fake Weather," 11 Sep. 2019 There is no polite, David French-ian third way through the cultural civil war. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "David French, Sohrab Ahmari, and the Battle for the Future of Conservatism," 12 Sep. 2019 The Raptors were down 1-0 to the Orlando Magic in the first round and 2-1 to the 76ers the next round in front of a crowd of polite, exceedingly civil Philadelphians. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Toronto Raptors Win the NBA Championship," 14 June 2019 Steiner said the staff was encouraged to be polite and to avoid altercations with petition gatherers. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "Man says he was shoved while collecting signatures to overturn Ohio nuclear bailout," 11 Sep. 2019 Mural,’ by contrast, feels polite and deferential, available at your convenience. Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, "The Weekender: Hard bops, soft fruits, honeybees, and ‘The Donkey Show’," 5 Sep. 2019 The outing was part of their training, and the K-9 class stayed polite and alert throughout the whole show. Aj Willingham, CNN, "A baby in Parliament, a new cat celebrity and the most wholesome choir ever," 24 Aug. 2019 And Trump and Gorsuch have the gall to suggest that the problem in American society is that those pushing back against these policies aren’t polite enough? Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Justice Gorsuch calls for ‘civility,’ always a code for shutting down free speech," 13 Sep. 2019 Ricard is engaged, has few hobbies except playing video games and is extremely polite. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Preston: Ravens’ dual threat Patrick Ricard on verge of transforming from project to significant role player," 20 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for polite

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for polite

The first known use of polite was circa 1500

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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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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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not being in agreement or harmony

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