English Synonyms and Antonyms
A civil person observes such propriety of speech and manner as to avoid being rude; one who is polite (literally polished) observes more than the necessary proprieties, conforming to all that is graceful, becoming, and thoughtful in the intercourse of refined society. A man may be civil with no consideration for others, simply because self-respect forbids him to be rude; but one who is polite has at least some care for the opinions of others, and if polite in the highest and truest sense, which is coming to be the prevailing one, he cares for the comfort and happiness of others in the smallest matters. Civil is a colder and more distant word than polite; courteous is fuller and richer, dealing often with greater matters, and is used only in the good sense. Courtly suggests that which befits a royal court, and is used of external grace and stateliness without reference to the prompting feeling; as, the courtly manners of the ambassador. Genteel refers to an external elegance, which may be showy and superficial, and the word is thus inferior to polite or courteous. Urbane refers to a politeness that is genial and successful in giving others a sense of ease and cheer. Polished refers to external elegancies of speech and manner without reference to spirit or purpose; as, a polished gentleman or a polished scoundrel; cultured refers to a real and high development of mind and soul, of which the external manifestation is the smallest part. Complaisant denotes a disposition to please or favor beyond what politeness would necessarily require.
awkward, bluff, blunt, boorish, brusk, clownish, coarse, discourteous, ill-behaved, ill-bred, ill-mannered, impertinent, impolite, impudent, insolent, insulting, raw, rude, rustic, uncivil, uncouth, unmannerly, unpolished, untaught, untutored
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