[pol-i-tes; French paw-lee-tes]


formal politeness; courtesy.

Nearby words

  1. polit.,
  2. polit. econ.,
  3. politburo,
  4. polite,
  5. politely,
  6. politian,
  7. politic,
  8. political,
  9. political action committee,
  10. political action committees

Origin of politesse

1710–20; < French: orig. clean or polished state < Italian politezza, variant of pulitezza (derivative of polito polite)

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

Examples from the Web for politesse

British Dictionary definitions for politesse



formal or genteel politeness

Word Origin for politesse

C18: via French from Italian politezza, ultimately from Latin polīre to 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

Word Origin and History for politesse



"civility," 1717, from French politesse (17c.), from Italian politezza, properly "the quality of being polite," from polito "polite," from Latin politus (see polite).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper