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

  • Sunday Word: Interlocutor

    interlocutor[in-ter- lok-y uh-ter] noun: 1 one who takes part in dialogue or conversation 2 the performer in a minstrel show who is placed…

  • Wednesday Word: Déraciné

    Déraciné - noun or adjective. You may know déraciné as the title of a video game, but this French word can also be used as an adjective or noun.…

  • Tuesday word: Convoluted

    Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 Convoluted (adjective) con·vo·lut·ed [kon-vuh-loo-tid] adjective 1. twisted; coiled. 2. complicated; intricately…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded