from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A woman prostitute, especially one whose clients are members of a royal court or men of high social standing.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A woman of a royal or noble court.
- n. The mistress of a royal or noble.
- n. A prostitute, especially one with high-status or wealthy clients
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A woman who prostitutes herself for hire; a prostitute; a harlot.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See courtezan, courtezanship.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a woman who cohabits with an important man
The term courtesan has the added advantage of being politely derogatory enough to make it into mainstream parlance.
The high point for Defoe's high-class courtesan is her "little ball" in her swanky London apartments.
It occurred to me recently that the word courtesan would a better term to describe the fawning sycophants who make up the washington establishment these days, media shills, congress, and Demo collaborators.
I think when you say the word courtesan, or prostitute, you don't think of things like integrity, and somebody who's highly moral, and all of those things.
And therefore knowledge that tendeth but to satisfaction is but as a courtesan, which is for pleasure and not for fruit or generation.
A courtesan is a mistress of a man of wealth or nobility.
The greatest danger in becoming a courtesan was the risk that her choice might damage Geoffrey, since to leave him behind was entirely out of the question.
And she is all the more real because it is France, impure, the country of light loves and immodest passions, where all that is sensual comes to the surface, and the courtesan is the queen of ignoble fancy, that has brought forth this most perfect embodiment of purity among the nations.
Therefore Phryne, whom men, groping in darkness and the dull ways of earth, dubbed courtesan, shone in a Court of Law before the assembled nobles of Athens, naked and undismayed in the blaze of her fairness.
The first act opens in the house of Epicharis, a courtesan, which is a rendezvous for the dissolute Roman nobles.
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