- 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 politeness
Humor, blue eyes, and Midwestern politeness: what more could the ladies (and a good portion of the men) of New York want?The Captain’s Log: Derek Jeter’s Lady-Killing Past, From ‘Yeah, Jeets!’ to Gift Baskets
September 28, 2014
Until of course even they reach the limit of their politeness.11 Best Monty Python Moments
November 20, 2013
He parried every question and implication that Wallace threw at him with equanimity, humility, politeness, and even humor.Was Mike Wallace’s Toughest Interview a 12-Year-Old Kid?
April 14, 2012
Used as a humorously exaggerated formula of politeness when refusing food.Wunnerfitz! Sollybuster! The Fun of the Dictionary of American Regional English
April 12, 2012
In a later scene when Smiley interrogates Haydon, they never break through the barrier of politeness.‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’: Oscar Nominees Gary Oldman and Peter Straughan
February 15, 2012
You'd better not tell him so, or he might give you a lesson in politeness.
"Don't let me detain you," said Halbert, with an elaborate share of politeness.
He was as indefatigable in politeness, as his wife had been in her regimental duties.
But Mr. Hand, flattered by her politeness, begged her to remain.The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage
Charles G. D. Roberts
How you oppress me, my dearest friend, with your politeness!Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
- showing regard for others, in manners, speech, behaviour, etc; courteous
- cultivated or refinedpolite society
- elegant or polishedpolite letters
Word Origin and History for politeness
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.