Definition of


  1. (adj, all) applying to ordinary citizens as contrasted with the military
  2. (adj, all) not rude; marked by satisfactory (or especially minimal) adherence to social usages and sufficient but not noteworthy consideration for others
  3. (adj, pert) of or occurring within the state or between or among citizens of the state
    civil strife
    civil disobedience
    civil branches of government
  4. (adj, pert) of or relating to or befitting citizens as individuals
    civil liberty
    civic duties
    civic pride
  5. (adj, all) (of divisions of time) legally recognized in ordinary affairs of life
    a civil day begins at mean midnight
  6. (adj, all) of or in a condition of social order

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Civil

civic, polite

Antonyms of Civil

sidereal, uncivil

Alternate forms of Civil

Derivations: civility

Origin of the word Civil

  1. late 14c., from L. civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen," hence "popular, affable, courteous;" alternative adj. derivation of civis "townsman" (see city). The sense of "polite" was in the L., from the courteous manners of citizens, as opposed to those of soldiers. But Eng. did not pick up this nuance of the word until late 1… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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