Definition of civil adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsɪvl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪvl//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [only before noun] connected with the people who live in a country civil unrest (= that is caused by groups of people within a country) see also civil war
  2. 2  [only before noun] connected with the state rather than with religion or with the armed forces a civil marriage ceremony
  3. 3[only before noun] involving personal legal matters and not criminal law a civil court compare criminal see also civil law
  4. 4polite in a formal way but possibly not friendly The less time I have to spend being civil to him the better! opposite uncivil
  5. Word Originlate Middle English: via Old French from Latin civilis, from civis ‘citizen’.Extra examples The teachers were all perfectly civil to me. Both are veterans of the country’s long civil war. He said that the police were perfectly civil in their questioning. I don’t want her around if she can’t behave in a civil manner to me. Some groups have been calling for a non-violent civil disobedience campaign. There needs to be greater emphasis on civil defence planning. There were concerns that the economic reforms might lead to civil unrest.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: civil