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Pronunciation: \'si-v[schwa]l\


1 : of or relating to citizens <civil rights>

2 : of or relating to matters within a country

3 : of or relating to the regular business of citizens or government that is not connected to the military or a religion

4 : polite without being friendly <Those men, they used to be best friends. Now they can't be civil with each other. Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust>

5 : relating to laws about private rights rather than criminal laws <She brought a civil lawsuit against the maker of the defective car.>

civ*il*ly adverb <You must treat the other team civilly, at least.>

synonyms: civil, polite, and courteous mean following the rules of good behavior. civil is used for showing only enough proper behavior to avoid being actually rude. <I know you're angry but try to be civil.> polite is used of good manners and thoughtfulness. <The host was polite and made us feel at home.> courteous is usually used for a politeness that is somewhat dignified. <The salesclerks were trained to be courteous always.>

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Title Annotation:Dictionary entry
Publication:Merriam-Webster's Elementary Dictionary
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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