9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[si-vil-i-tee] /sɪˈvɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural civilities.
courtesy; politeness.
a polite action or expression:
an exchange of civilities.
Archaic. civilization; culture; good breeding.
Origin of civility
1350-1400; Middle English civilite < Middle French < Latin cīvīlitāt- (stem of cīvīlitās) courtesy. See civil, -ity
Related forms
overcivility, noun
1. affability, amiability, manners, tact. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for civility
  • It may not, of course, be possible to compel civility.
  • What's more effective than legislation and legal action are positive initiatives to build respect and civility at work.
  • Thank you for bringing civility and good sense to the discussion.
  • We ask that you adhere to wiki principles of good faith, civility and consensus decision-making.
  • The term civility is appropriate in my view because my view is criticism and civility are not mutually exclusive.
  • Rudeness is out, and civility is the new rule in an uncertain world.
  • It's amazing how the brittle mantle of civility is shattered if even the thinnest veil of anonymity is provided.
  • Of course the irony is that such people are doing this anyway through a diffuse commitment to ongoing everyday civility.
  • Able to adjust both the set's speaker volume and its own, this remote holds the power of civility as well as control.
  • In terms of civility there's a difference, and maybe in terms of intimacy, too.
British Dictionary definitions for civility


noun (pl) -ties
politeness or courtesy, esp when formal
(often pl) an act of politeness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for civility

late 14c., "status of a citizen," from Old French civilite (14c.), from Latin civitatem (nominative civitas) "the art of governing; courteousness," from cvilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous" (see civil). Later especially "good citizenship" (1530s). Also "state of being civilized" (1540s); "behavior proper to civilized persons" (1560s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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