Meaning of CIVIL in English



Pronunciation: ' si-v ə l

Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin civilis, from civis

Date: 14th century

1 a : of or relating to citizens b : of or relating to the state or its citizenry < civil strife>

2 a : CIVILIZED < civil society> b : adequate in courtesy and politeness : MANNERLY <a civil question>

3 a : of, relating to, or based on civil law b : relating to private rights and to remedies sought by action or suit distinct from criminal proceedings c : established by law

4 : of, relating to, or involving the general public, their activities, needs, or ways, or civic affairs as distinguished from special (as military or religious) affairs

5 of time : based on the mean sun and legally recognized for use in ordinary affairs

synonyms CIVIL , POLITE , COURTEOUS , GALLANT , CHIVALROUS mean observant of the forms required by good breeding. CIVIL often suggests little more than the avoidance of overt rudeness <owed the questioner a civil reply>. POLITE commonly implies polish of speech and manners and sometimes suggests an absence of cordiality <if you can't be pleasant, at least be polite >. COURTEOUS implies more actively considerate or dignified politeness <clerks who were unfailingly courteous to customers>. GALLANT and CHIVALROUS imply courteous attentiveness especially to women. GALLANT suggests spirited and dashing behavior and ornate expressions of courtesy <a gallant suitor of the old school>. CHIVALROUS suggests high-minded and self-sacrificing behavior <a chivalrous display of duty>.

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.