po·​li·​tesse | \ ˌpä-li-ˈtes How to pronounce politesse (audio) , ˌpȯ- \

Definition of politesse

Examples of politesse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Peck is just as much the keeper of the flame of the precision postmodernists like William H. Gass, another Midwesterner who had a way with metaphor and a burning fury against politesse. Mark Athitakis, Washington Post, "Even before Twitter, Dale Peck was stirring the pot. He’s at it again with a new book.," 6 Nov. 2019 With flattery and French politesse, President Emmanuel Macron delicately maneuvered around Trump, partly by playing to the President’s ego. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Weird Whoppers at the G-7 Summit," 27 Aug. 2019 The responses are eye-opening, but do not necessarily represent the gold standard of politesse. Ajc Homepage, ajc, "How most air travelers feel about taking off your shoes, sharing the armrest and more," 24 Nov. 2017 The Trump Administration has the right idea, even if the President’s words lack the usual diplomatic politesse. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trumpian Fury on North Korea," 9 Aug. 2017 Apparently, the T & T squad didn’t want to burn some of that politesse and reciprocity with the Sounders. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Sounders’ situation with Joevin Jones shows soccer is different animal than other sports in this country," 27 Aug. 2017 Black demonstrators protesting the murder of teen-agers are met with tanks and riot gear; white demonstrators protesting the unpopularity of Nazi and Confederate ideology are met with politesse. Longreads, "How We Got to Here: A Charlottesville Reading List," 15 Aug. 2017 But nearly three months into his term, the Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, will need more than his gentle, tobacco-country politesse to govern effectively. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "In North Carolina, Governing With a Punch and a Handshake," 19 Mar. 2017 Another reason, though, is that historians of conservatism, like historians in general, tend to be liberal, and are prone to liberalism’s traditions of politesse. Rick Perlstein, New York Times, "I Thought I Understood the American Right. Trump Proved Me Wrong.," 11 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'politesse.' 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 politesse

1683, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for politesse

French, from Middle French, cleanness, from Old Italian pulitezza, from pulito, past participle of pulire to polish, clean, from Latin polire

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The first known use of politesse was in 1683

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Cite this Entry

“Politesse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/politesse. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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