civil

adjective
civ·​il | \ ˈsi-vəl How to pronounce civil (audio) \

Definition of civil

1a : of or relating to citizens civil duties
b : of or relating to the state or its citizenry civil strife
2a : civilized civil society
b : adequate in courtesy and politeness : mannerly a civil question It was hard to be civil when I felt so angry.
3a : of, relating to, or based on civil law
b : relating to private rights and to remedies sought by action or suit distinct from criminal proceedings
c : established by law civil freedoms
4 : of, relating to, or involving the general public, their activities, needs, or ways, or civic affairs as distinguished from special (such as military or religious) affairs got married in a civil ceremony
5 of time : based on the theoretical mean sun and legally recognized for use in ordinary affairs the civil calendar Esoteric and sometimes outlandish balloons were floated: If we're not going to worry about civil time matching solar time, for instance, why not simplify global timekeeping even more by reducing the number of global time zones from twenty-four to five?— Michelle Stacey

Synonyms & Antonyms for civil

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for civil

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

Frequently Asked Questions About civil

Why is it called a 'civil war'?

The sense of civil found in civil war is not the one meaning "mannerly," or the one meaning "civilized." It is the word’s earliest sense in English, “of or relating to citizens,” as a civil war refers to one between citizens of the same country.

What is civil disobedience?

We define civil disobedience as "refusal to obey governmental demands or commands especially as a nonviolent and usually collective means of forcing concessions from the government." Some notable examples of civil disobedience are the cases of Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin, black women who refused to give up their seats on public buses, when white passengers—and a city ordinance—demanded that they do so.

What is civil service?

A country's civil service is the part of the government that takes care of the government's basic business. It is the administrative part of the government, and independent of the military, and the occupations of its members are neither political nor judicial. In most countries, the term civil service refers to employees selected and promoted on the basis of a merit and seniority system, which may include examinations.

Examples of civil in a Sentence

They got married in a civil ceremony at city hall. It was hard to be civil when I felt so angry. She was barely civil to me.
Recent Examples on the Web After a 2019 civil trial in Rhode Island, a federal judge found that Carman’s modifications caused the boat to sink, but made no findings on whether they were done deliberately. Shelley Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Aug. 2022 Heard civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court on May 17, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia. Cheyenne Roundtree, Rolling Stone, 1 Aug. 2022 The judge also denied that there’s coverage under a provision in CAA’s policy allegedly covering business interruption losses incurred by civil authority orders. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 July 2022 Pratt, a New Zealand citizen, went missing during the civil trial and is believed to have fled the country. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 July 2022 Bot Sentinel, a research firm that detects and tracks bots, trolls and suspect accounts, studied how Heard was treated during the civil trial. Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2022 After a civil trial that lasted nearly five months, jurors began deliberating Thursday whether two consulting firms committed professional negligence in connection with the lead poisoning of Flint's drinking water. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 21 July 2022 The settlement came just weeks before they were set to go to a civil trial in Los Angeles on July 25. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, 18 July 2022 After Hedrick, who has since been paroled, failed to show up for the civil trial, the judge granted a default judgment in Miller’s favor for damages and other costs, according to authorities. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 14 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of civil

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for civil

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin civilis, from civis — see civic

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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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Dictionary Entries Near civil

civic university

civil

civil action

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Statistics for civil

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Civil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/civil. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for civil

civil

adjective
civ·​il | \ ˈsi-vəl How to pronounce civil (audio) \

Kids Definition of civil

1 : of or relating to citizens civil rights
2 : of or relating to matters within a country
3 : of or relating to the regular business of citizens or government that is not connected to the military or a religion
4 : polite without being friendly Those men, they used to be best friends. Now they can't be civil with each other.— Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust
5 : relating to laws about private rights rather than criminal laws She brought a civil lawsuit against the maker of the defective car.

Other Words from civil

civilly adverb You must treat the other team civilly, at least.

Choose the Right Synonym for civil

civil, polite, and courteous mean following the rules of good behavior. civil is used for showing only enough proper behavior to avoid being actually rude. I know you're angry but try to be civil. polite is used of good manners and thoughtfulness. The host was polite and made us feel at home. courteous is usually used for a politeness that is somewhat dignified. The salesclerks were trained to be courteous always.

civil

adjective
civ·​il | \ ˈsi-vəl How to pronounce civil (audio) \

Legal Definition of civil

1 : concerning, befitting, or applying to individual citizens or to citizens as a whole a civil duty — see also civil right
2 : marked by public order : peaceable in behavior
3 : of or relating to a legal system based on Roman law as opposed to the English common law
4 : relating to private rights and to judicial proceedings in connection with them especially : relating to legal matters other than those characterized as criminal a civil action a civil infraction
5 : defined by law : legal a civil disability
6 : of, relating to, or involving the general public, their activities, needs, ways, or civic affairs as distinguished from special (as military or religious) affairs the civil authorities the civil service

Other Words from civil

civilly adverb

History and Etymology for civil

Latin civilis, from civis citizen

More from Merriam-Webster on civil

Nglish: Translation of civil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of civil for Arabic Speakers

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