Definitions

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

  • n. Polite behavior.
  • n. A polite gesture or remark.
  • n. Consent or agreement in spite of fact; indulgence: They call this pond a lake by courtesy only.
  • n. Willingness or generosity in providing something needed: free advertising through the courtesy of the local newspaper.
  • adj. Given or done as a polite gesture: paid a courtesy visit to the new neighbors.
  • adj. Free of charge: courtesy tickets for the reporters.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Polite behavior.
  • n. A polite gesture or remark.
  • n. Consent or agreement in spite of fact; indulgence.
  • n. Willingness or generosity in providing something needed.
  • adj. Given or done as a polite gesture.
  • adj. Free of charge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Politeness; civility; urbanity; courtliness.
  • n. An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness or favor performed with politeness.
  • n. Favor or indulgence, as distinguished from right.
  • n. 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.
  • intransitive v. To make a respectful salutation or movement of respect; esp. (with reference to women), to bow the body slightly, with bending of the knes.
  • transitive v. To treat with civility.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Courtliness or elegance of manners; politeness; civility; complaisance; especially, politeness springing from kindly feeling.
  • n. An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness, or a favor done with politeness; a gracious attention.
  • n. A gesture of reverence, respect, or civility: formerly used for both sexes; now, in a restricted sense, a kind of obeisance made by a woman, consisting in a sinking or inclination of the body with bending of the knees: in this sense now usually pronounced and often written curtsy (kėrt′ si), Scotch also curchie.
  • n. Favor; indulgence; allowance; common consent; conventional as distinguished from legal right: as, a title by courtesy; the courtesy of England. See phrases below.
  • n. The custom of confirming the nomination to an office by the President of a member or former member of the Senate without the usual reference to a committee.
  • To make a gesture of reverence, respect, or civility; make a courtesy: now said only of women.
  • To treat with courtesy or civility.
  • n. Naval, the interchange of official visits and salutes when a war-ship enters a foreign port.

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

  • n. a courteous or respectful or considerate remark
  • n. a courteous manner
  • n. a courteous or respectful or considerate act

Etymologies

Middle English courtesie, from Old French, from corteis, courtly; see courteous.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English curtesie, from Anglo-Norman curtesie, from Anglo-Norman curteis ("courteous"), from Old French cortois ("courteous"), from Latin cortensis ("related to the court"). [2] (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Shall do a courtesy to our wrath] _To do a courtesy_ is to gratify, to comply with.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • Latin courtesy is a highly refined art, of which exaggeration is a part.

    Communicating In Latin America

  • It appears this "sub-horizonal" outrage will be allowed to stand without explanation, so, to help JMA's readership understand "sub-horizonal" here's some occurrences of the term courtesy of Google; chevron folds which have been overturned towards the south by subsequent sub-horizonal simple shear intensely folded with the sheet dip typically sub-horizonal or inclined gently

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

  • I learned the term courtesy of Fred Rogers not long after I'd learned to speak, and the concept of finding deep, lasting truth in imagination has since become a guiding principle in my life.

    GOOD

  • So Bound for Glory climaxed with Sting winning the title courtesy of an assist from Kevin Nash.

    PWTorch.com

  • He explained that the word curtsey comes from the word "courtesy."

    Margie Goldsmith: Setting A Courteous Guinness World Record In London

  • If I wouldn't recognise your name -- which might simply be an online handle -- it doesn't matter; point is, at least then you'd be distinguishable from the sort of trolling cretins whose "hit-and-run" posts are precisely the reason this courtesy is a convention in the blogosphere.

    THE HALLS OF PENTHEUS -- PART FOUR

  • (0600 GMT) at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria for what it called a courtesy call.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • But they took what they called a courtesy report, and because of the seriousness of the alleged incident, they wrote it down and apparently it is now in the hands of the FBI.

    CNN Transcript Oct 19, 2007

  • The Seattle Police Department, though, said that they did take what they called a courtesy report from an alleged victim, a woman back in mid-summer, late June or July, the date they weren ` t sure of without the actual document.

    CNN Transcript Oct 19, 2007

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