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civil

adjective

Definition: 1. having to do with citizens or the general population; 2. activities of citizens, as opposed to church or military; 3. polite and courteous, but restrained; 4. socially acceptable, civilized; 5. relating to civil law as opposed to criminal law

Synonyms: public, civic, civilian, cordial, respectful, polite

Antonyms: uncivilized, ill-mannered

Tips: Civil originates from the Latin civilis, "of or proper for a citizen." This is also the origin of the related word civilized. The word civil has several specialized uses: One can act with civility or "in a civil manner (respect, politeness) toward another person," but this is not the same as acting in a courteous manner--you would be civil to someone you don't really like, courteous to someone you do actually respect and/or like. Civil law is concerned with private rights as opposed to criminal law. Civil engineers build bridges, roads, and other important infrastructure used by the people.

Usage Examples:

She felt that her civil rights were violated when the police officer cursed at her. (civilian, public)

It is important to be civil even to those people who may not share your point of view. (cordial, mannerly)

Although the two women clearly did not like each other, they were civil when they ran into each other at a party. (cordial, polite)

This is a civil matter, and there is no need to proceed with a trial in the criminal court system. (civilian, civic)


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