[ puh-lahyt ]
/ pəˈlaɪt /

adjective, po·lit·er, po·lit·est.

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

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin polītus, past participle of polīre to polish


2 urbane, polished, poised, courtly, cultivated.

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for politeness

British Dictionary definitions for politeness


/ (pəˈlaɪt) /


showing regard for others, in manners, speech, behaviour, etc; courteous
cultivated or refinedpolite society
elegant or polishedpolite letters

Derived Forms

politely, adverbpoliteness, noun

Word Origin for polite

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