- 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 politely
From behind a curtain, Trudeau is politely coaching the actors through the scene, encouraging them to go bigger.Inside the Political Fun House: How ‘Alpha House’ Became Amazon’s First Big Hit
October 24, 2014
After politely considering the idea, Stewart declined, the magazine reported.Jon Stewart and 'Meet The Press' Would Have Been One Unhappy Marriage
October 9, 2014
Demurely they poured drinks and politely tried to speak English.Bar-Hopping With the Kyoto Geisha
September 1, 2014
We are now in day six of our on-air spring membership drive for WPNQ, and we really have to —politely!How to Survive a Public Radio Membership Drive
Kelly Williams Brown
May 11, 2014
Prabhakar is politely being asked to vacate his city and his home.India’s Newest State Telangana Is Bosnia Redux
March 22, 2014
"Your committee," said Mr. Durant, politely ignoring the manner of the questioner.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
"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.Quaint Courtships
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
- showing regard for others, in manners, speech, behaviour, etc; courteous
- cultivated or refinedpolite society
- elegant or polishedpolite letters
Word Origin and History for politely
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.