Etymology
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polite (adj.)

late 14c., "polished, burnished" (mid-13c. as a surname), from Latin politus "refined, elegant, accomplished," literally "polished," past participle of polire "to polish, to make smooth" (see polish (v.)).

The literal sense is obsolete in English; the sense of "elegant, cultured" (of literature, arts, etc.) is from c. 1500; of persons, "refined or cultivated in speech, manner, or behavior," by 1620s. The meaning "behaving courteously, showing consideration for others" is by 1748 (implied in politely). Related: Politeness.

Polite applies to one who shows a polished civility, who has a higher training in ease and gracefulness of manners: politeness is a deeper, more comprehensive, more delicate, and perhaps more genuine thing than civility. Polite, though much abused, is becoming the standard word for the bearing of a refined and kind person toward others. [Century Dictionary, 1895]

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Definitions of polite

polite (adj.)
showing regard for others in manners, speech, behavior, etc.;
polite (adj.)
marked by refinement in taste and manners;
polite society
Synonyms: civilized / civilised / cultivated / cultured / genteel
polite (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: civil
From wordnet.princeton.edu