Polite means showing regards for others in manners, speech, and behavior. Since you are a polite dinner guest, you thank the host for inviting you and, even though you think the chicken is not cooked to perfection, you tell her you are enjoying the meal.

The adjective polite comes from the mid-13th century Latin politus, which means "refined" or "elegant." Showing consideration for others, using tact, and observing social norms are the qualities of being polite. The opposite of polite is rude. Because the poet E.E. Cummings thought imagination is most important, he wrote, “Knowledge is a polite word for dead but not buried imagination.”

Definitions of polite
  1. adjective
    showing regard for others in manners, speech, behavior, etc.
    mannerly, well-mannered
    socially correct in behavior
    courteous, gracious, nice
    exhibiting courtesy and politeness
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    not polite
    brattish, bratty
    (used of an ill-mannered child) impolitely unruly
    bad-mannered, ill-mannered, rude, unmannered, unmannerly
    socially incorrect in behavior
    discourteous, ungracious
    lacking social graces
    so rude and abusive as to be unsuitable for parliament
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  2. adjective
    not rude; marked by satisfactory (or especially minimal) adherence to social usages and sufficient but not noteworthy consideration for others
    synonyms: civil
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    rude, uncivil
    lacking civility or good manners
  3. adjective
    marked by refinement in taste and manners
    polite society”
    synonyms: civilised, civilized, cultivated, cultured, genteel
    (used of persons and their behavior) cultivated and genteel
Word Family

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