What does polite mean?

Definitions for polite

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word polite.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. politeadjective

    showing regard for others in manners, speech, behavior, etc.

  2. civilized, civilised, cultivated, cultured, genteel, politeadjective

    marked by refinement in taste and manners

    "cultivated speech"; "cultured Bostonians"; "cultured tastes"; "a genteel old lady"; "polite society"

  3. civil, politeadjective

    not rude; marked by satisfactory (or especially minimal) adherence to social usages and sufficient but not noteworthy consideration for others

    "even if he didn't like them he should have been civil"- W.S. Maugham


  1. politeadjective

    Well-mannered, civilized.

  2. politeadjective

    Smooth, polished, burnished.

  3. Etymology: From politus, past participle of polire; see polish.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. POLITEadjective

    Etymology: politus, Latin.

    Some of them are diaphanous, shining and polite; others not polite, but as if powder’d over with fine iron dust. John Woodward.

    If any sort of rays, falling on the polite surface of any pellucid medium, be reflected back, the fits of easy reflexion, which they have at the point of reflexion, shall still continue to return. Isaac Newton, Opticks.

    The edges of the sand holes, being worn away, there are left all over the glass a numberless company of very little convex polite risings like waves. Isaac Newton, Opticks.

    A nymph of quality admires our knight,
    He marries, bows at court, and grows polite. Alexander Pope.


  1. polite

    Polite refers to showing good manners, consideration and respect towards others, typically in social settings or situations. It may entail being courteous, behaving in a civilized manner, demonstrating cultural etiquette, using respectful language, or refraining from offensive, rude, or inappropriate behaviors and comments.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Polite

    smooth; polished

  2. Polite

    smooth and refined in behavior or manners; well bred; courteous; complaisant; obliging; civil

  3. Polite

    characterized by refinement, or a high degree of finish; as, polite literature

  4. Politeverb

    to polish; to refine; to render polite


  1. Polite

    Polite is a semi-regular general interest and humor magazine published in the United States. Its tagline is "Generally interesting."

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Polite

    pō-līt′, adj. polished: smooth: refined: well-bred: obliging.—adv. Polite′ly.—ns. Polite′ness, state or quality of being polite: refinement of manners: good-breeding; Politesse′, politeness. [L. politus, pa.p. of polīre.]

Editors Contribution

  1. Polite

    To have good manners and to show respect to everyone.

    The little girl was very polite and respected her elders.

    Submitted by JP03 on October 30, 2014  

Suggested Resources

  1. polite

    Song lyrics by polite -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by polite on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Polite is ranked #8067 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Polite surname appeared 4,108 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Polite.

    78.1% or 3,209 total occurrences were Black.
    14.6% or 603 total occurrences were White.
    3.2% or 133 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    2.2% or 94 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.1% or 46 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.5% or 23 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'polite' in Adjectives Frequency: #920

How to pronounce polite?

How to say polite in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of polite in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of polite in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of polite in a Sentence

  1. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble:

    We were both friendly and polite ... He told me his position, which he has repeatedly said in recent days, and I tried to explain our position to him and we were not able to bridge the differences.

  2. Clyde Parry:

    Jason Cid did this in the hopes of showing how overly aggressive police officers are when they respond to these calls. As you can see from the video, my officers responded and were polite and professional as they investigated the fictitious situation that was created by Jason Cid and his accomplices. Jason Cid hoped to show you out of control cops harassing three young men. But what they got were courteous, polite and professional law enforcement officers who investigated the suspicious activity that they themselves created.

  3. Jean Kerr:

    Man is the only animal that learns by being hypocritical. He pretends to be polite and then, eventually, he becomes polite.

  4. Jean Kerr:

    Man is the only animal that learns by being hypocritical. He pretends to be polite and then, eventually, he _becomes_ polite.

  5. Troup County:

    It’s kind of bizarre, I’ve never known anyone to (allegedly) do something like this before. It’s crazy to have interacted with someone like that. The last time I saw him was probably in about June of 2011, and he seemed fine. I just remember him being really nice, very polite.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for polite

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"polite." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/polite>.

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    an utterance expressing pain or disapproval
    • A. emerge
    • B. moan
    • C. attend
    • D. obligate

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