Definition of polite in English:

polite

Syllabification: po·lite
Pronunciation: /pəˈlīt
 
/

adjective (politer, politest)

1Having or showing behavior that is respectful and considerate of other people: they thought she was wrong but were too polite to say so
More example sentences
  • In the UK, and most of Europe, it is not considered polite to just say what you want.
  • You could tell he didn't think much of my work, though he was far too polite to blurt it out.
  • You could hand around evaluation forms, but many people are too polite to tell you what they really thought.
Synonyms
1.1 [attributive] Of or relating to people who regard themselves as more cultured and refined than others: the picture outraged polite society
More example sentences
  • Over the years he built a pagoda to polite English society as it faded in the glare of post-war vulgarity.
  • But lay into others and you should prepare to be visited by the vengeance of polite society.
  • There are still some things that cannot be talked about in polite society.
Synonyms
civilized, refined, cultured, sophisticated, genteel, courtly

Origin

late Middle English (in the Latin sense): from Latin politus 'polished, made smooth', past participle of polire.

Derivatives

politely

adverb
More example sentences
  • With a smile, politely hand your method of payment to the person manning the counter.
  • I politely smiled and excused myself since it was time for the next session of the soirée.
  • Its roof can politely be described as a victory for design over function.

politeness

noun
More example sentences
  • Yet when does this politeness, this so-called consideration become mere insipidity?
  • He was an extremely popular young man, who was renowned for his politeness and manners.
  • They want lessons in politeness, courtesy, and most of all the correct way to drive a car in traffic.

Definition of polite in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day glee
Pronunciation: gliː
noun
great delight, especially from one's own good fortune…