[pol-i-tes; French paw-lee-tes] /ˌpɒl ɪˈtɛs; French pɔ liˈtɛs/

formal politeness; courtesy.
formal or genteel politeness

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


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  • Polemize

    [pol-uh-mahyz] /ˈpɒl əˌmaɪz/ verb (used without object), polemized, polemizing. 1. .

  • Polemist

    [pol-uh-mist, puh-lem-ist, poh-] /ˈpɒl ə mɪst, pəˈlɛm ɪst, poʊ-/ noun 1. a person who is engaged or versed in polemics.

  • Polemics

    [puh-lem-iks, poh-] /pəˈlɛm ɪks, poʊ-/ noun, (used with a singular verb) 1. the art or practice of disputation or controversy: a master of polemics. 2. the branch of theology dealing with the history or conduct of ecclesiastical disputation and controversy. [puh-lem-ik, poh-] /pəˈlɛm ɪk, poʊ-/ noun 1. a controversial argument, as one against some opinion, […]

  • Polemicize

    [puh-lem-uh-sahyz, poh-] /pəˈlɛm əˌsaɪz, poʊ-/ verb (used without object), polemicized, polemicizing. 1. to practice the art of disputation; to engage in or controversy. v. 1953, from polemic + -ize. Related: Polemicized; polemicizing. Earlier was polemize (1828), from Greek polemizein “to make war, to wage war.”

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