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civil (adj.)

14世纪晚期, “与民法或生活有关; 与国家内部事务有关”, 来自古法语 civil “civil, 与民法有关” (13世纪), 直接来自拉丁文 civilis “与社会有关, 与公共生活有关, 与公民秩序有关, 与公民相称”, 因此引申为“受欢迎, 和蔼可亲, 彬彬有礼;” civis “townman” (见 city) 的替代形容词派生词.

意为“不野蛮, 文明”, 出自1550年代. 具体到1610年代“与世俗组织的联邦有关” (与 militaryecclesiastical). 意为“与公民与联邦或同胞的关系有关” 也是1610年代的.

The word civil has about twelve different meanings; it is applied to all manner of objects, which are perfectly disparate. As opposed to criminal, it means all law not criminal. As opposed to ecclesiastical, it means all law not ecclesiastical: as opposed to military, it means all law not military, and so on. [John Austin, “Lectures on Jurisprudence,” 1873]

“礼貌” 的意义是在古典拉丁语中, 但英语直到16世纪末才拾起这个词的这一细微差别, 它的意义已趋向于下降到“符合礼貌的最低标准”. “ Courteous 因此, 更多的是对上级说的, civil 对下级说的, 因为它意味着或暗示了不礼貌或无礼的可能性” [OED].

Civil, literally, applies to one who fulfills the duty of a citizen; It may mean simply not rude, or observant of the external courtesies of intercourse, or quick to do and say gratifying and complimentary things. .. .   Courteous, literally, expresses that style of politeness which belongs to courts: a courteous man is one who is gracefully respectful in his address and manner — one who exhibits a union of dignified complaisance and kindness. The word applies to all sincere kindness and attention. [Century Dictionary, 1895]

Civil case (而不是 criminal) 是1610年代的记录. Civil liberty “自然自由只受法律约束, 只要对公共利益有必要” 是1640年代的事.

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Definitions of civil from WordNet

civil (adj.)
applying to ordinary citizens as contrasted with the military;
civil authorities
civil (adj.)
not rude; marked by satisfactory (or especially minimal) adherence to social usages and sufficient but not noteworthy consideration for others; "even if he didn't like them he should have been civil"- W.S. Maugham;
Synonyms: polite
civil (adj.)
of or occurring within the state or between or among citizens of the state;
civil disobedience
civil strife
civil branches of government
civil affairs
civil (adj.)
of or relating to or befitting citizens as individuals;
civil rights
civil liberty
Synonyms: civic
civil (adj.)
(of divisions of time) legally recognized in ordinary affairs of life;
a civil day begins at mean midnight
the civil calendar
civil (adj.)
of or in a condition of social order;
civil peoples
From wordnet.princeton.edu