a courteous manner that respects accepted social usage
the act of showing regard for others
The act of being polite.
high finish; smoothness; burnished elegance
the quality or state of being polite; refinement of manners; urbanity; courteous behavior; complaisance; obliging attentions
Politeness is best expressed as the practical application of good manners or etiquette. It is a culturally defined phenomenon, and therefore what is considered polite in one culture can sometimes be quite rude or simply eccentric in another cultural context. While the goal of politeness is to make all of the parties relaxed and comfortable with one another, these culturally defined standards at times may be manipulated to inflict shame on a designated party. Anthropologists Penelope Brown and Stephen Levinson identified two kinds of politeness, deriving from Erving Goffman's concept of face: ⁕Negative politeness: Making a request less infringing, such as "If you don't mind..." or "If it isn't too much trouble..."; respects a person's right to act freely. In other words, deference. There is a greater use of indirect speech acts. ⁕Positive politeness: Seeks to establish a positive relationship between parties; respects a person's need to be liked and understood. Direct speech acts, swearing and flouting Grice's maxims can be considered aspects of positive politeness because: ⁕they show an awareness that the relationship is strong enough to cope with what would normally be considered impolite;they articulate an awareness of the other person's values, which fulfills the person's desire to be accepted.
The Roycroft Dictionary
1. The screen of language; the irony of civility; a fishing-rod. 2. A substitute for war. 3. To wipe your feet carefully on the common doormat before letting yourself in another's premises with a skeleton key. 4. Caliban in a boiled shirt, tuxedo and spats. (Politeness in the animal world is known after eating only; in the human world it is known both before and after eating, and, in a certain restricted circle, during eating.)
The numerical value of politeness in Chaldean Numerology is: 8
The numerical value of politeness in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.
One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.
Letters haven't worked. Southern politeness hasn't worked. We're going to ratchet it up.
Politeness costs nothing. Nothing, that is, to him that shows it but if often costs the world very dear.
Our philosophy is to avoid confrontation, even in opposition, we practice wise opposition, through nice words and politeness.
Images & Illustrations of politeness
Translations for politeness
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
Get even more translations for politeness »
Find a translation for the politeness definition in other languages:
Select another language: