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[puh-lahyt] /pəˈlaɪt/

adjective, politer, politest.
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.
showing regard for others, in manners, speech, behaviour, etc; courteous
cultivated or refined: polite society
elegant or polished: polite letters

late 14c., “polished, burnished” (mid-13c. as a surname), from Latin politus “refined, elegant, accomplished,” literally “polished,” past participle of polire “to polish, to make smooth” (see polish (v.)). Used literally at first in English; sense of “elegant, cultured” is first recorded c.1500, that of “behaving courteously” is 1748 (implied in politely). Related: Politeness.


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  • Politesse

    [pol-i-tes; French paw-lee-tes] /ˌpɒl ɪˈtɛs; French pɔ liˈtɛs/ noun 1. formal politeness; courtesy. /ˌpɒlɪˈtɛs/ noun 1. formal or genteel politeness n. “civility,” 1717, from French politesse (17c.), from Italian politezza, properly “the quality of being polite,” from polito “polite,” from Latin politus (see polite).

  • 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, […]

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