What does courtesy mean?

Definitions for courtesy
ˈkɜr tə si or, for 5 , ˈkɜrt sicour·tesy

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word courtesy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. courtesynoun

    a courteous or respectful or considerate act

  2. courtesynoun

    a courteous or respectful or considerate remark

  3. courtesy, good mannersnoun

    a courteous manner


  1. courtesynoun

    Polite behavior.

    Please extend them the courtesy of your presence.

  2. courtesynoun

    A polite gesture or remark.

    I offered them a ride simply as a courtesy.

  3. courtesynoun

    Consent or agreement in spite of fact; indulgence.

    They call this pond a lake by courtesy only.

  4. courtesynoun

    Willingness or generosity in providing something needed.

    They received free advertising through the courtesy of the local newspaper.

  5. courtesyadjective

    Given or done as a polite gesture.

    We paid a courtesy visit to the new neighbors.

  6. courtesyadjective

    Free of charge.

    The event planners offered courtesy tickets for the reporters.

  7. Etymology: From curtesie, from curtesie, from curteis, from cortois, from cortensis. \

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Courtesynoun

    Etymology: courtoisie, Fr. cortesia, Italian.

    Sir, you are very welcome to our house; It must appear in other ways than words,
    Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Ven.

    Who have seen his estate, his hospitality, his courtesy to strangers. Henry Peacham.

    He, who was compounded of all the elements of affability and courtesy towards all kind of people, brought himself to a habit of neglect, and even of rudeness, towards the queen. Edward Hyde.

    So gentle of condition was he known,
    That through the court his courtesy was blown. John Dryden, Fab.

    Fair sir, you spit on me last Wednesday;
    You spurn’d me such a day; another time
    You call’d me dog; and for these courtesies,
    I’ll lend you thus much money. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Repose you there, while I to the hard house
    Return, and force their scanted courtesy. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    When I was last at Exeter,
    The mayor in courtesy shew’d me the castle. William Shakespeare, R. III.

    Sound all the lofty instruments of war,
    And by that musick let us all embrace;
    For heav’n to earth some of us never shall
    A second time do such a courtesy. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    Other states, assuredly, cannot be justly accused for not staying for the first blow; or for not accepting Polyphemus’s courtesy, to be the last that shall be eaten up. Francis Bacon.

    Some country girl, scarce to a court’sy bred,
    Would I much rather than Cornelia wed;
    If, supercilious, haughty, proud and vain,
    She brought her father’s triumphs in her train. John Dryden, Juven.

    The poor creature was as full of courtesies as if I had been her godmother: the truth on’t is, I endeavoured to make her look something Christian-like. William Congreve, Old Batchelor.

  2. To Courtesyverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Toby approaches, and court’sies there to me. William Shakespeare.

    The petty traffickers,
    That court’sy to them, do them reverence. William Shakespeare.

    If I should meet her in my way,
    We hardly court’sy to each other. Matthew Prior.


  1. Courtesy

    Courtesy (from the word courteis, from the 12th century) is gentle politeness and courtly manners. In the Middle Ages in Europe, the behaviour expected of the nobility was compiled in courtesy books.


  1. courtesy

    Courtesy is a polite and considerate behavior displayed towards others, often involving showing respect, kindness, and good manners. It involves being aware of and attending to the needs and feelings of others, while actively promoting a pleasant and harmonious environment in social interactions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Courtesynoun

    politeness; civility; urbanity; courtliness

  2. Courtesynoun

    an act of civility or respect; an act of kindness or favor performed with politeness

  3. Courtesynoun

    favor or indulgence, as distinguished from right; as, a title given one by courtesy

  4. Courtesynoun

    an act of civility, respect, or reverence, made by women, consisting of a slight depression or dropping of the body, with bending of the knees

  5. Courtesyverb

    to make a respectful salutation or movement of respect; esp. (with reference to women), to bow the body slightly, with bending of the knes

  6. Courtesyverb

    to treat with civility

  7. Etymology: [See the preceding word.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Courtesy

    kort′e-si, or kurt′e-si, n. courtliness: elegance of manner: an act of civility or respect: a curtsy: (law) the life interest which the surviving husband has in the real or heritable estate of his wife.—v.i. to make a curtsy.—pr.p. court′esying; pa.p. court′esied.—n.pl. Court′esy-tī′tles, titles really invalid, but allowed by the usage of society—as to children of peers. [O. Fr. courtoisie.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. courtesy

    1. The court clothes of any two-legged predatory animal. 2. The oil that makes a juggernaut noiseless.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'courtesy' in Nouns Frequency: #2833

How to pronounce courtesy?

How to say courtesy in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of courtesy in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of courtesy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of courtesy in a Sentence

  1. Brandt Jean:

    I felt the same way as Brandt. I wish I could've extended that same courtesy, that's what Christ would want us to do. ... If you will not forgive, neither will your Father forgive you. I don't want to see her rot in hell. I don't want to see her rot in prison. I hope this will help her to change and recognize the damage, the hurt that our family's going through. So I wish her well and I will pray for her family and pray for her as well.

  2. James Banister:

    We owe President Trump courtesy to come into our country in the memory of all the thousands of thousands of people who fought in the two world wars on our side.

  3. Ryan Pack:

    Most people will show you courtesy, but in a fraudulent, untruthful, way.

  4. David Assael:

    Well, spring sprang. We've had our state of grace and our little gift of sanctioned madness, courtesy of Mother Nature. Thanks, Gaia. Much obliged. I guess it's time to get back to that daily routine of living we like to call normal.

  5. W. C. Fields:

    It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I never had the courtesy to thank her for it.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for courtesy

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"courtesy." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/courtesy>.

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