Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

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. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for polite
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Your lordships wishes are commands with me, said Manuel, with a polite salutation.

    Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf George W. M. Reynolds
  • Dolores asked, and her mother leaned forward with polite interest.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • But the boys meant to be polite and, after all, that is what counts.

  • The elder one, if he is married, and if he is polite to her, becomes her best friend.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • A certain magistrate told somebody whom he was examining in court that he or she "should always be polite to the police."

    All Things Considered G. K. Chesterton
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

Difficulty index for polite

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for polite

8
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for polite