Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “polite”


adjective    /pəˈlɑɪt/
behaving in a way that is socially correct and shows respect for other people’s feelings : She was too polite to point out my mistake . politely    /pəˈlɑɪt·li/ adverb He politely asked them to leave . politeness    /pəˈlɑɪt·nəs/ noun [U] With unfailing politeness he answered their questions .
(Definition of polite adjective from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of polite

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Polite and respectful, but you might be interested in these topics from the Admiration and respect topic area:

Definitions of “polite” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


the art and knowledge involved in preparing and eating good food

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More