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English definition of “polite”

polite

adjective     /pəˈlaɪt/
A2 behaving in a way that is socially correct and shows understanding of and care for other people's feelings: I'm afraid I wasn't very polite to her. She sent me a polite letter thanking me for my invitation. He was too polite to point out my mistake.Polite and respectfulPolite and respectful socially correct rather than friendly: polite conversationBehaving well polite society/company old-fashioned or humorous people who have been taught how to behave in a socially correct way: Sex never used to be discussed in polite society.Behaving well Grammar:Being polite or less directWe sometimes use a past verb form to talk about present time, in order to be more polite or less direct:See moreGrammar:Things in the past that are still trueSometimes we use past verb forms to refer to things which were true or which happened in the past, even when they are still true now:See moreGrammar:Past: typical errorsSee moreGrammar:PolitenessPoliteness is about keeping good relations with your listener or reader. There are two types of politenessSee moreGrammar:Politeness: showing respectThere are many ways in which we can show that we value and respect our listener or reader. In more formal situations, we are especially careful to use certain polite phrases:See moreGrammar:Politeness: making what we say less directWhen we speak and write, we usually try not to be too direct. There are a number of ways in which we can do this.See moreGrammar:Politeness: what is impolite?Being direct is impolite so we need to be careful when using direct forms.See more politeness     /-nəs/ noun [U]
(Definition of polite adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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