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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.
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Examples from the Web for politely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Your committee," said Mr. Durant, politely ignoring the manner of the questioner.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • "You'll find a car a great comfort, I'm sure," he said politely.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • I don't like to say things like that, though I'm sure I always try to say them politely.

  • John politely asked Mrs. Bothwell to join them, but she declined.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • Greeting me, however, cheerfully and politely, she at once entered into conversation.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
British Dictionary definitions for politely

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
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Word Origin and History for politely

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
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13
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