• WordNet 3.6
    • adj polite showing regard for others in manners, speech, behavior, etc.
    • adj polite 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"
    • adj polite marked by refinement in taste and manners "cultivated speech","cultured Bostonians","cultured tastes","a genteel old lady","polite society"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

True Politeness True Politeness
Australia - political Australia - political

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1991, during an attempted political coup on Russian President Boris Yelstin, food supplies had dwindled down at the parliament buildings so they ordered Pizza Hut to deliver pizzas
    • Polite Characterized by refinement, or a high degree of finish; as, polite literature.
    • Polite Smooth and refined in behavior or manners; well bred; courteous; complaisant; obliging; civil. "He marries, bows at court, and grows polite ."
    • Polite Smooth; polished. "Rays of light falling on a polite surface."
    • v. t Polite To polish; to refine; to render polite.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The term "throw one's hat in the ring" comes from boxing, where throwing a hat into the ring once signified a challenge. Today it nearly always signifies political candidacy.
    • polite Polished; smooth; lustrous; bright.
    • polite Polished, refined, or elegant in speech, manner, or behavior; well-bred; courteous; complaisant; obliging: said of persons or their speech or behavior, etc.: as, polite society; he was very polite.
    • polite Polished or refined in style, or employing such a style: now rarely applied to persons: as, polite learning; polite literature (that is, belleslettres).
    • polite Synonyms Civil, Polite, Courteous, Urbane, Complaisant, gracious, affable, courtly, gentlemanly, ladylike. Civil, literally, applies to one who fulfils the duty of a citizen; it may mean simply not rude, or observant of the external courtesies of intercourse, or quick to do and say gratifying and complimentary things. Polite applies to one who shows a polished civility, who has a higher training in ease and gracefulness of manners; politeness is a deeper, more comprehensive, more delicate, and perhaps more genuine thing than civility. Polite, though much abused, is becoming the standard word for the bearing of a refined and kind person toward others. Courteous, literally, expresses that style of politeness which belongs to courts: a courteous man is one who is gracefully respectful in his address and manner—one who exhibits a union of dignified complaisance and kindness. The word applies to all sincere kindness and attention. Urbane, literally city-like, expresses a sort of politeness which is not only sincere and kind, but peculiarly suave and agreeable. Complaisant applies to one who pleases by being pleased, or obliges and is polite by yielding personal preferences; it may represent mere fawning, but generally does not. See genteel.
    • polite [⟨ L. politus, pp. of polire, polish: see polish, verb] To polish; refine.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The word Assassin is derived from a Middle Eastern religious and political sect known as Hashishins. The name means 'hashish smoker'which refers to the practice of taking hashish to induce visions of ecstacy before murdering their enemies as their religious duty. They were very good at what they did.
    • adj Polite pō-līt′ polished: smooth: refined: well-bred: obliging
    • ***


  • Thomas Wolfe
    “A cult is a religion with no political power.”
  • George Mcgovern
    George Mcgovern
    “You know, sometimes, when they say you're ahead of your time, it's just a polite way of saying you have a real bad sense of timing.”
  • Richard Brinsley Sheridan
    “He is the very pineapple of politeness!”
  • Henry Brooks Adams
    “Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.”
  • Aristotle
    “Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics.”
  • Kin Hubbard
    “Politics makes strange postmasters.”


Body politic - A group of people organised under a single government or authority (national or regional) is a body politic.
Dog-whistle politics - (AU) When political parties have policies that will appeal to racists while not being overtly racist, they are indulging in dog-whistle politics.
Politically correct - Things or people that are politically correct use language that will not cause offence.
Wedge politics - (USA) In wedge politics, one party uses an issue that they hope will divide members of a different party to create conflict and weaken it.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. politus, p. p. of polire, to polish: cf. F. poli,. See Polish (v.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. politus, pa.p. of polīre.


In literature:

But he can exercise no political privilege, or aspire to any political distinction.
"Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments" by Various
"A Student's History of England, v. 1 (of 3)" by Samuel Rawson Gardiner
He was therefore decidedly a spiritualist in philosophy, and a royalist in politics.
"Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time" by François Pierre Guillaume Guizot
Politics interfered, and turned victory into defeat.
"The Battle with the Slum" by Jacob A. Riis
Freeman, the English historian, said that history was "past politics" and politics "present history.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
But Duncan Polite could not answer; in the midst of his happiness, when his hopes were at their height, he had been stricken with a great fear.
"Duncan Polite" by Marian Keith
He even interviewed political leaders.
"The Red Hand of Ulster" by George A. Birmingham
The speaker was a political barber.
"Ireland as It Is" by Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
It has also taken politics out of the saloon to a great extent, and has elevated local politics especially to a higher plane.
"The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV" by Various
This political question had not yet entered politics.
"The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V"

In poetry:

"Oh, surely, here are signs
Should soften your rigidity:
This gentleman combines
Politeness with timidity.
"Phrenology" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Of course, I don't know very much
About these politics,
But I think that some who run 'em,
Do mighty ugly tricks.
"Aunt Chloe's Politics" by Frances Ellen Watkins
The rooster so politely stands
While waiting for his food,
But when I feed him, what a change!
He then is rough and rude.
"A Question" by Ellis Parker Butler
To see one who thinks so poorly
Of herself, and with such lightness
Owns she comes to speak with me,
Rather would appear to be
Want of sense than of politeness.
"The Purgatory Of St. Patrick - Act II" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
Thunder? Why, no. Some static, may have been --
A far, faint rumble and a glimmering light.
This, and no more, John, have we heard and seen,
We watchers in the dark politic night.
"Jove's Opportunity" by C J Dennis
And went up to him very politely,
And asked what his name was and cried:
"My lad, if I judge of you rightly,
You're the son of my brother who died--
My poor Mustafa!"--and he sighed.
"Aladdin" by Clara Doty Bates

In news:

Brown, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Villanova University and the author of Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants.
The mayor is again in the national political spotlight, but some say his energy should be focused on potholes, not politics.
Wikipedia has a list of US political scandals, as well as one that focuses on political sex scandals.
A day before what is likely to be one of the closest presidential elections in years, the Internet is buzzing with political songs and get-out-the-vote pleas that span the political spectrum.
So far, I've stayed out of Indian politics--even one level below US politics if you can imagine that.
This week on Insights, a panel of political analysts and representatives from both the Democratic and Republican parties will join host Dan Boylan to sum up the 2010 political season.
The long-time Democrat made political waves last month when he decided to switch political parties.
The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.
Full political news coverage at denverpost.com/politics.
Local political legend, Gabrielle Giffords, has officially launched her new political action committee.
I definitely want our Unitarian Universalist congregation to be a place that welcome political diversity and avoids emotional political manipulation.
Why in this day of political correctness where every comment about people of various nationalities, religions and political views are scrutinized and reprimanded publicly, is it still viewed perfectly fine to joke about Southern accents .
Larry Gerston is professor of political science at San Jose State University and serves as political analyst at NBC Bay Area.
Politics' Fatal Therapeutic Turn: Two Berkeley Political Organizations Analyzed .
View full size John Petkovic, The Plain Dealer The political discussion is dominated by two parties, but there is a wide range of thinkers and books that influence American political attitudes.

In science:

Publicaciones - Universidad Polit ´ecnica de Valencia. N.
Typed Generic Traversal With Term Rewriting Strategies
If the bugs are so polite as to take the cards in the cyclic N-W-S-E order in which they were dropped, then we simulate the rotor-router exactly.
Goldbug Variations
Matem`atica Aplicada II Universitat Polit`ecnica de Catalunya email: Josep.
Generalized 2-vector spaces and general linear 2-groups
Maurice and I received a lot of sharp-tongued comments about this carefully chosen “politically correct” formulation.
From SPS to RHIC: Maurice and the CERN heavy-ion programme
Political power, notably voting power, can be measured through the concept of Power Indices [FM98], [TP08].
Invariably Suboptimal - An attempt to improve the voting rules of Treaties of Nice and Lisbon