Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Courtliness or elegance of manners; politeness; civility; complaisance; especially, politeness springing from kindly feeling.
  • noun An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness, or a favor done with politeness; a gracious attention.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Favor; indulgence; allowance; common consent; conventional as distinguished from legal right: as, a title by courtesy; the courtesy of England. See phrases below.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Naval, the interchange of official visits and salutes when a war-ship enters a foreign port.
  • To make a gesture of reverence, respect, or civility; make a courtesy: now said only of women.
  • To treat with courtesy or civility.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To treat with civility.
  • noun Politeness; civility; urbanity; courtliness.
  • noun An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness or favor performed with politeness.
  • noun Favor or indulgence, as distinguished from right.
  • noun a title assumed by a person, or popularly conceded to him, to which he has no valid claim; as, the courtesy title of Lord prefixed to the names of the younger sons of noblemen.
  • intransitive verb To make a respectful salutation or movement of respect; esp. (with reference to women), to bow the body slightly, with bending of the knes.
  • noun 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun a courteous or respectful or considerate remark
  • noun a courteous manner
  • noun a courteous or respectful or considerate act

Etymologies

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

[Middle English courtesie, from Old French, from corteis, courtly; see courteous.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

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

  • 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

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

    PWTorch.com

  • 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

Comments

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  • "Searched thesaurus.com for a synonym for "cock tease." Result: "Did you mean courtesy?"" via twitter.com

    January 20, 2008

  • Least likely post ever.

    January 21, 2008

  • Fire up the improbability drive!

    January 22, 2008