American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An idealized and often illicit form of love celebrated in the literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in which a knight or courtier devotes himself to a noblewoman who is usually married and feigns indifference to preserve her reputation.
- n. A mediaeval European conception of noble and chivalrous love, generally secret and between members of the nobility.
- n. (Middle Ages) a highly conventionalized code of conduct for lovers
“What is stressed in both the Grail legends and the courtly love tradition of the troubadours is the spiritual elevation of, and respect for, women.”
“Much of the courtly love tradition involves the understanding of specific techniques, for example, that of maithuna, the deliberate withholding of orgasm to induce sensations of bliss and mystical awareness.”
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