as in polite
showing consideration, courtesy, and good manners please try to be civil to your ex-husband at the upcoming family wedding

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near civil

Cite this Entry

“Civil.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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