Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Characterized by gracious consideration toward others. See Synonyms at polite.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Showing regard or thought for others; especially, displaying good manners or etiquette.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of courtlike manners; pertaining to, or expressive of, courtesy; characterized by courtesy; civil; obliging; well bred; polite; affable; complaisant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having court-like or elegant manners; using or characterized by courtesy; well-bred; polite: as, a courteous gentleman; courteous words; a courteous manner of address.
  • Synonyms Civil, Urbane, etc. (see polite), obliging, affable, attentive, respectful.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. exhibiting courtesy and politeness
  • adj. characterized by courtesy and gracious good manners

Etymologies

Middle English corteis, courtly, from Old French, from cort, court; see court.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English courteous ("courtly"), from Old French cort ("court"), from Latin, displaced native Old English hende ("courteous, gracious, friendly"). (Wiktionary)

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