- of, relating to, or consisting of citizens: civil life; civil society.
- of the commonwealth or state: civil affairs.
- of citizens in their ordinary capacity, or of the ordinary life and affairs of citizens, as distinguished from military and ecclesiastical life and affairs.
- of the citizen as an individual: civil liberty.
- befitting a citizen: a civil duty.
- of, or in a condition of, social order or organized government; civilized: civil peoples.
- adhering to the norms of polite social intercourse; not deficient in common courtesy: After their disagreement, their relations were civil though not cordial.
- marked by benevolence: He was a very civil sort, and we liked him immediately.
- (of divisions of time) legally recognized in the ordinary affairs of life: the civil year.
- of or relating to civil law.
Origin of civil
SynonymsSee more synonyms for civil on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for civilness
And even the Finn fisher has occasionally some rudiments of civilness and hospitality.Through Arctic Lapland
- of the ordinary life of citizens as distinguished from military, legal, or ecclesiastical affairs
- of or relating to the citizen as an individualcivil rights
- of or occurring within the state or between citizenscivil strife
- polite or courteous
- a less common word for civic
- of or in accordance with Roman law
- relating to the private rights of citizens
Word Origin and History for civilness
late 14c., "relating to civil law or life; pertaining to the internal affairs of a state," from Old French civil "civil, relating to civil law" (13c.) and directly from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen," hence by extension "popular, affable, courteous;" alternative adjectival derivation of civis "townsman" (see city).
The sense of "polite" was in classical Latin, from the courteous manners of citizens, as opposed to those of soldiers. But English did not pick up this nuance of the word until late 16c. "Courteous is thus more commonly said of superiors, civil of inferiors, since it implies or suggests the possibility of incivility or rudeness" [OED]. Civil case (as opposed to criminal) is recorded from 1610s. Civil liberty is by 1640s. Civil service is from 1772, originally in reference to the East India Company.