Thesaurus

civil

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of civil

1 of or relating to a nation
  • the country was not destroyed by outside enemies but by a series of civil wars

Synonyms for civil

Words Related to civil

Near Antonyms for civil

Antonyms for civil

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Frequently Asked Questions About civil

How does the adjective civil contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of civil are chivalrous, courteous, gallant, and polite. While all these words 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

In what contexts can chivalrous take the place of civil?

In some situations, the words chivalrous and civil are roughly equivalent. However, chivalrous suggests high-minded and self-sacrificing behavior.

a chivalrous display of duty

When is it sensible to use courteous instead of civil?

The words courteous and civil are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, courteous implies more actively considerate or dignified politeness.

clerks who were unfailingly courteous to customers

How do gallant and chivalrous relate to one another, in the sense of civil?

Both 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

When can polite be used instead of civil?

The words polite and civil can be used in similar contexts, but 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

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Time Traveler for civil

Time Traveler

The first known use of civil was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Civil.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/civil. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on civil

Dictionary: Definition of civil

Nglish: Translation of civil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of civil for Arabic Speakers

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