Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

polite

[puh-lahyt] /pəˈlaɪt/
adjective, politer, politest.
1.
showing good manners toward others, as in behavior, speech, etc.; courteous; civil:
a polite reply.
2.
refined or cultured:
polite society.
3.
of a refined or elegant kind:
polite learning.
Origin of polite
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin polītus, past participle of polīre to polish
Related forms
politely, adverb
politeness, noun
superpolite, adjective
superpolitely, adverb
superpoliteness, noun
Synonyms
1. well-bred, gracious. See civil. 2. urbane, polished, poised, courtly, cultivated.
Antonyms
1, 2. rude.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for polite
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "She might have been polite enough to invite me in," said Halbert, with chagrin.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • 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 Edwin Hodder
  • A polite lie had been written to her husband, a banker of power in the city.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
British Dictionary definitions for polite

polite

/pəˈlaɪt/
adjective
1.
showing regard for others, in manners, speech, behaviour, etc; courteous
2.
cultivated or refined: polite society
3.
elegant or polished: polite letters
Derived Forms
politely, adverb
politeness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin polītus polished; see polish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for polite
adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for polite

Word Value for polite

8
10
Scrabble Words With Friends