Synonyms & Antonyms of polite

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Frequently Asked Questions About polite

How does the adjective polite contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of polite are chivalrous, civil, courteous, and gallant. While all these words mean "observant of the forms required by good breeding," 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

When might chivalrous be a better fit than polite?

The synonyms chivalrous and polite are sometimes interchangeable, but chivalrous suggests high-minded and self-sacrificing behavior.

a chivalrous display of duty

When is civil a more appropriate choice than polite?

Although the words civil and polite have much in common, civil often suggests little more than the avoidance of overt rudeness.

owed the questioner a civil reply

When is it sensible to use courteous instead of polite?

The meanings of courteous and polite largely overlap; however, courteous implies more actively considerate or dignified politeness.

clerks who were unfailingly courteous to customers

How are the words gallant and chivalrous related as synonyms of polite?

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

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Time Traveler for polite

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The first known use of polite was circa 1500

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Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Polite.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on polite

Dictionary: Definition of polite

Spanish Central: Translation of polite

Nglish: Translation of polite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of polite for Arabic Speakers

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