American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Courteous formality; politeness: "the soul of uptown refinement and . . . politesse” ( Russell Baker).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Politeness.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Politeness.
- n. courtesy towards women
- From the French politesse, from the Italian politezza, from polito, past participle of pulire ("to polish”, “to clean"), from the Latin polire, present active infinite form of poliō ("I polish”, “I smooth"). (Wiktionary)
- French, from Old French, cleanliness, from Italian pulitezza, politezza, from pulire, to polish, clean, from Latin polīre; see polite. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Lord Edward at once relieved the squaw of her pack by placing it upon his own shoulders, -- a beautiful instance of what the French call politesse de coeur -- the inbred politeness of the true gentleman.”
“To Robert Plant he was this absolutely elite gentleman, the master of serenity, as much at home with the backstage cavorting of Led Zeppelin as he was with the politesse of high society. . .”
“Mr. Fumaroli agrees: The courtly way of life is his maquette for the spread of human happiness he never mentions that you had to have the standing and the old money to enjoy it: "Elegance, politesse and a new sweetness of manners . . . prefigured a world in which each man's freedom could accommodate the equality of all.”
“And with that she combined abuse of Republican politicians and the entire Washington establishment that tolerated their existence with her unique mix of affected aristocratic politesse and unblinking belligerence.”
“With trademark Asian politesse, Japan’s Finance Minister Jun Azumi let Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner know just what a problem Washington is creating for Tokyo, which relies on Iran for 10% of its oil needs.”
“Miss Conduct doesn't usually have occasion to discuss children's literature, it being a realm of impeccable manners and politesse.”
“In 2008, the last time we wrote to Mr. Dimon, the fixer assigned to our case came from the Chase Executive Resolution Committee, which still sounds to me like a branch of the East German Secret Police, and indeed, our fixer would've been right at home in the Stasi, her humorless manner balanced between cool politesse and infuriating snottiness.”
“What is undoubtedly behind all this public politesse is an attempt by Mubarak to gain some breathing room, especially from the American government and European leaders, so that ultimately, over the next few days or weeks, he can quietly initiate an Iranian-style crackdown on protesters, or worse, another Tiananmen Square-like bloodbath that wipes out the democracy movement for good.”
“Diversity in America: different strokes for thee and me, and I can bludgeon you with political politesse and correctness, if I am not WASPish or Jewish.”
“The offer was understood as the kind of politesse with which Truman offered Marshall Plan aid to Stalin—knowing, of course, that Congress would withdraw funding immediately were Stalin to accept.”
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