- showing good manners toward others, as in behavior, speech, etc.; courteous; civil: a polite reply.
- refined or cultured: polite society.
- of a refined or elegant kind: polite learning.
Origin of polite
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for polite
And so he looked at her, smiled, and offered a polite “Is everything okay?”Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’
January 7, 2015
Wilson would later tell the grand jury that he had been only polite and Brown had responded with the F word.90 Seconds of Fury in Ferguson Are the Key to Making Peace in America
November 26, 2014
They were delicate, they were long, they were polite, and they were long.Pyongyang Primer: Kenneth Bae Comes Home
November 15, 2014
Everyone, of course, was too polite to inquire about the embarrassing number of absentees.There’s Only One Way to Beat ISIS: Work With Assad and Iran
Leslie H. Gelb
October 18, 2014
He's polite and amusing, inventing comic voices to deceive friends.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
"She might have been polite enough to invite me in," said Halbert, with chagrin.Brave and Bold
I knew I could make something more than a polite sosh out of you.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
I don't call that polite, seeing that I have come back to live with you.Viviette
William J. Locke
The plausible and polite manner of the stranger was effectual with George.Life in London
A polite lie had been written to her husband, a banker of power in the city.Within the Law
- showing regard for others, in manners, speech, behaviour, etc; courteous
- cultivated or refinedpolite society
- elegant or polishedpolite letters
Word Origin and History for polite
late 14c., "polished, burnished" (mid-13c. as a surname), from Latin politus "refined, elegant, accomplished," literally "polished," past participle of polire "to polish, to make smooth" (see polish (v.)). Used literally at first in English; sense of "elegant, cultured" is first recorded c.1500, that of "behaving courteously" is 1748 (implied in politely). Related: Politeness.