Civility Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old civility quotes, civility sayings, and civility proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.

George Washington

Civility sometimes requires polite ruthlessness. Establish that what you prize most is civility.

Jimmy Bise Jr

Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos.

George W. Bush

When civility is illusory, war is inevitable.     

Steve Maraboli

Civility is not something that automatically happens. Civil societies come about because people want them to.     

Jimmy Bise Jr

Civility, politeness, it's like a cement in a society: binds it together. And when we lose it, then I think we all feel lesser and slightly dirty because of it.     

Jeremy Irons

Civility, it is said, means obeying the unenforceable.     

Ellen Goodman

There can be no high civility without a deep morality, though it may not always call itself by that name.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Certainly every man can be courteous, for it costs nothing, and is within the ability of all.     

Nicias Ballard Cooksey

Politeness is the art of choosing among your thoughts.

Madame De Stael

The civility of no race can be perfect whilst another race is degraded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.     

Henry Clay

Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.     

Mary Wortley Montagu

Civility is a work of the imagination, for it is through the imagination that we render others sufficiently like ourselves for them to become subjects of tolerance and respect, if not always affection.     

Benjamin Barber

Civility is the natural state for people who know how limited their own individual powers are and know, too, that they need the conversation.     

David Brooks

Civility is the art and act of caring for others.

Deborah King

Courtesy in the world is by no means a false and culpable pretense. It softens rather than dissimulates; and, on the whole, since it deceives nobody, it cannot be accused of falsehood.     

Madame Swetchine

Aspire to decency. Practice civility toward one another. Admire and emulate ethical behavior wherever you find it. Apply a rigid standard of morality to your lives; and if, periodically, you fail ­ as you surely will ­ adjust your lives, not the standards.     

Ted Koppel

The civility of the world has reached that pitch that their more moral genius is becoming indispensable, and the quality of this race is to be honored for itself.     

Ralph Waldo Emerso

The very essence of politeness seems to be to take care by our words and actions we make other people pleased with us as well as with themselves.     

Jean De La Bruyere

Civility is perhaps a quaint notion but civility in Parliament is something we should always strive to uphold.

Jay Weatherill

Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage

Theodore Roosevelt

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.     

Emily Post

Civility is not simply about manners.

Jim Leach

Civility isn't just some optional value in a multicultural, multistate democratic republic. Civility is the key to civilization.     

Van Jones

Courtesy is only a thin veneer on the general selfishness.     

Honore de Balzac

Civility does not mean the mere outward gentleness of speech cultivated for the occasion, but an inborn gentleness and desire to do the opponent good.     

Mahatma Gandhi

We have gotten so use to humor being something nasty and offensive that we started to believe that was the only way to get a laugh.

John Patrick Hickey

All of civility depends on being able to contain the rage of individuals.     

Joshua Lederberg

There is a courtesy of the heart; it is allied to love. From its springs the purest courtesy in the outward behavior.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe