Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Politesse

politesse [pol-i-tes; French paw-lee-tes]
1. Formal politeness or etiquette; decorousness


There was much ceremony when they departed - much French politesse, and many charming little attentions were paid. (E Temple Thurston, Sally Bishop: A Romance)

They circle each other warily, and we wait for the moment when they will put aside suburban politesse and say what they really think of each other. (Ed Cumming, Little Fires Everywhere review, Independent, May 2020)

The surprise that Britain’s conversational protocols provokes in foreigners is all the sharper because of our international image, which is fanned by Jane Austen adaptations and the royal industry. We are supposed to be an Arcadia of costumed politesse. (Janaan Ganesh, Why British banter gets lost in translation, Financial Times, December 2017)


'civility,' 1717, from French politesse (17c.), from Italian politezza, properly 'the quality of being polite,' from polito 'polite,' from Latin politus (Online Etymological Dictionary)

French, from Middle French, cleanness, from Old Italian pulitezza, from pulito, past participle of pulire to polish, clean, from Latin polire

Tags: french, italian, middle french, noun, p, wordsmith: sallymn

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