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

Americans can take a cruise ship there without very polite Canadian border control folks getting involved. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "People Have Been Arguing About Nakhchivan Since 'The Flood'," 21 May 2018 But many psychologists think kids being polite to virtual assistants is less of an issue than parents think—and may even be a red herring. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "Hey Alexa, What Are You Doing to My Kid's Brain?," 11 May 2018 The British are usually polite to a fault — though they have been known to go off after a soccer match or once the pubs close. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Keep your heads down, U.S. embassy warns Americans ahead of London Trump visit," 11 July 2018 Backbench Brexiteers were much less polite this morning. The Economist, "Boris goes," 10 July 2018 And Nate, despite his young age, was mature beyond his years and very polite, Thoreson said. Alexis Stevens, ajc, "Cobb County family devastated by crash that kills youngest siblings," 20 June 2018 But, death grip handshakes aside, Trump has so far been gushingly polite in his dealings with Asian leaders. Joseph Hincks / Seoul, Time, "Translating Trump and Kim: Spare a Thought for the Interpreters at the June 12 Summit," 11 June 2018 In this instance, the TSA officer provided advisements during the pat-down and was extremely polite. CBS News, "Video of TSA agents searching 96-year-old woman in wheelchair sparks outrage," 8 June 2018 Applause was light, but the reception was generally polite. Catherine Lucey, The Seattle Times, "Relations between Trump, global elites seem to thaw at Davos," 26 Jan. 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

21 Oct 2018

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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