Definition of civility in English:

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Pronunciation: /səˈvilədē/

noun (plural civilities)

1Formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech: I hope we can treat each other with civility and respect
More example sentences
  • I want civility and respect to triumph over anti-social behaviour.
  • The treatment of the police by the marchers was equally one-sided in favor of civility and politeness.
  • Despite her plain clothes, she radiated a ladylike politeness and civility.
courtesy, courteousness, politeness, good manners, graciousness, consideration, respect, politesse, comity
1.1 (civilities) Polite remarks used in formal conversation: she was exchanging civilities with his mother
More example sentences
  • ‘Mr Johnson,’ he begins, without any of the conventional civilities, and then tells me that he has obtained authority to visit my premises in Oxfordshire.
  • It is a reasonable assumption that, even if there are disagreements on the role of the society, the common objective will mean that the normal civilities and in particular normal electoral proprieties will be observed.
  • Argentines are quite formal in public and are very aware of proper civilities.
polite remark, politeness, courtesy;


Late Middle English: from Old French civilite, from Latin civilitas, from civilis 'relating to citizens' (see civil). In early use the term denoted the state of being a citizen and hence good citizenship or orderly behavior. The sense 'politeness' arose in the mid 16th century.

Words that rhyme with civility

ability, agility, debility, docility, edibility, facility, fertility, flexility, fragility, futility, gentility, hostility, humility, imbecility, infantility, juvenility, liability, mobility, nihility, nobility, nubility, puerility, senility, servility, stability, sterility, tactility, tranquillity (US tranquility), usability, utility, versatility, viability, virility, volatility

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ci·vil·i·ty

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