AskDefine | Define incivility

Dictionary Definition

incivility n : deliberate discourtesy [ant: civility]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The quality or state of being uncivil; want of courtesy; rudeness of manner; impoliteness.
  2. Any act of rudeness or ill breeding.
  3. Want of civilization; a state of rudeness or barbarism.


Extensive Definition

Incivility is a general term for social behaviour lacking in civility or good manners, on a scale from rudeness or lack of respect for elders, to vandalism and hooliganism, through public drunkenness and threatening behaviour. The word "incivility" is derived from the Latin incivilis, meaning "not of a citizen".
The distinction between plain rudeness, and perceived incivility as threat, will depend on some notion of 'civility' as structural to society; incivility as anything more ominous than bad manners is therefore dependent on appeal to notions like its antagonism to the complex concepts of civic virtue or civil society. It has become a contemporary political issue in a number of countries .



  • Digby Anderson, editor (1996) Gentility Recalled: Mere Manners and the Making of Social Order
  • Stephen L. Carter (1998) Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy, Basic Books, 1998, ISBN 978-0465023844
  • P. M. Forni, Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct, St. Martin's Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0312281182
  • Judith Martin, Miss Manners: A Citizen's Guide to Civility, ISBN 978-0609801581
  • Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President in War and Peace

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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