- (context, Linguistics) Pertaining to words used to convey polite mood, rather than meaning; for example, "You're welcome" is not used to convey its literal meaning but is said only as an automatic polite response to an expression of thanks.
Etymology: From Ancient Greek (polytonic, ) "spoken", from (polytonic, ) "to say".
- 1978, Anthony Burgess, 1985:
- :Generally speaking, statements in WE are expected to be of a tautologous nature, thus fulfilling the essential nature of speech.
- 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 467:
- :Dispensing with chitchat, he began straightaway to tell the story of his "people."
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