court

noun, often attributive
\ ˈkȯrt How to pronounce court (audio) \

Definition of court

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the residence or establishment of a sovereign or similar dignitary riding to the king's court
b : a sovereign's formal assembly of councillors and officers The king held a general court.
c : the sovereign and officers and advisers who are the governing power The court has decided against the alliance.
d : the family and retinue of a sovereign The court enjoyed the tournament.
e : a reception held by a sovereign
2a(1) : a manor house or large building surrounded by usually enclosed grounds Hampton Court
(2) : motel
b : an open space enclosed wholly or partly by buildings or circumscribed by a single building the court at the center of the palace
c : a quadrangular space walled or marked off for playing one of various games with a ball (such as tennis, handball, or basketball) also : a division of such a court
d : a wide alley with only one opening onto a street
3a : an official assembly for the transaction of judicial business
b : a session of such a court The court is now adjourned.
c : a place (such as a chamber) for the administration of justice sat quietly in the back of the court
d : a judge or judges in session also : a faculty or agency of judgment or evaluation … rest our case in the court of world opinion … — Leonard H. Marks
4a : an assembly or board with legislative or administrative powers
5 : conduct or attention intended to win favor or dispel hostility : homage pay court to the king

court

verb
courted; courting; courts

Definition of court (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to seek to gain or achieve court power
b(1) : allure, tempt mountain streams courting the fishermen
(2) : to act so as to invite or provoke courts disaster
2a : to seek the affections of especially : to seek to win a pledge of marriage from
b of an animal : to perform actions in order to attract for mating a male bird courting a female
3a : to seek to attract (as by solicitous attention or offers of advantages) college teams courting high school basketball stars Both candidates were courting the independent voters.
b : to seek an alliance with

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in social activities leading to engagement and marriage
2 of an animal : to engage in activity leading to mating a pair of robins courting in the trees

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Synonyms for court

Synonyms: Noun

palace

Synonyms: Verb

ask (for), flirt (with), invite, woo

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Examples of court in a Sentence

Noun

Court is now in session. Court is adjourned for the day. There was a large group of protesters outside the court. a lawyer who has appeared in courts around the country The case is before the state's highest court. She's a judge on an appellate court. The prosecution has new evidence to submit to the court. Please explain to the court what happened that night. The court ruled the law unconstitutional. The court reversed the lower court's decision.

Verb

The couple courted for two years before marrying. He was courting his college sweetheart. a pair of robins courting The male will sometimes court the female for hours. college teams courting high school basketball stars The speech was clearly intended to court middle-class voters.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This followed a brouhaha in which Sanford and Joan Weill’s efforts to change the name of upstate New York’s Paul Smith’s College to Joan Weill–Paul Smith’s College were rebuffed in court. Dan Duray, Town & Country, "When Is a High-Maintenance Donor Not Worth the Trouble?," 20 May 2019 All of these laws are unconstitutional, all of them have been or will be challenged in court, and, may be overturned. Lauren Rankin, Teen Vogue, "Alabama's Abortion Ban Is Dangerous, and it May Even Be Deadly," 16 May 2019 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has promised to sue in court to make sure this law, a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, doesn't go into effect. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Alabama's Abortion Ban Bill Is Frightening and Outraging Women Everywhere," 15 May 2019 Betty then discovers that the nuns really aren't nuns anymore, meaning their vow won't hold up in court. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Every "Riverdale" Character That's Been Killed Off," 10 May 2019 And Acosta agreed that the deal would be kept secret from the victims, preventing them from showing up in court to try to challenge it. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 Four of the creditors who were collectively owed more than $200,000 also filed a petition in federal bankruptcy court in Seattle last October, seeking to force Global Baristas into bankruptcy. James Queally, The Seattle Times, "Lawyer Michael Avenatti, accused of fraud and attempts to extort Nike, is arrested," 25 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile, Loughlin—best known for her role as Aunt Becky on Full House—turned herself into federal authorities this week and appeared in court on Wednesday. Glamour, "Sephora Cut Ties With Olivia Jade Amid the College Admissions Scandal," 14 Mar. 2019 The plan died with a whimper last month in Swiss bankruptcy court. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Mars One Is Now Officially Dead. But It Always Was.," 11 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In an interview, Mr. Sarbanes acknowledged that Democrats hadn’t spent much time courting Republican support. Julie Bykowicz, WSJ, "Democrats Set to Push Election Overhaul, Without GOP Support," 3 Jan. 2019 The company hasn’t settled on a specific location, but it’s been courted heavily by France, Spain, and others. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla will live and die by the Gigafactory," 30 Nov. 2018 The Thorns first began courting Crnogorcevic just months after Mark Parsons took over as head coach in the fall of 2015. Jamie Goldberg, OregonLive.com, "After two-year wait, Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic is finally a Portland Thorn," 18 Apr. 2018 Adani began courting lenders for a new five-year, A$250 million loan for the port last September -- the proceeds of which may be used to refinance part of the loan that’s maturing later this year, according to a person familiar with the matter. Bloomberg.com, "Adani Australia Port Must Refinance Soon Or Face Rating Cut," 8 Jan. 2018 Charles ended his relationship with Sarah and began courting Diana in 1980. Morgan Evans, Good Housekeeping, "A Timeline of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles' Royal Romance," 12 May 2017 In the footage, Lister is seen collecting rent, dressing like a man, and courting Miss Walker. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "HBO's Gentleman Jack Brings the Life of Anne Lister, a 19th Century LGBTQ Pioneer, to the Small Screen," 21 Mar. 2019 To rectify the situation, her male consort will immediately undergo a series of neurological changes and begin to boss and court the smaller fish. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Alternatives to Heterosexual Pairings, Brought to You By Non-Human Animals," 28 June 2018 Mike Madrid, a Republican political consultant and senior adviser to Villaraigosa, said courting the Latino vote has been the campaign's underlying strategy all along. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Antonio Villaraigosa hopes California Latinos dislike Donald Trump enough to vote," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'court.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of court

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for court

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French curt, court, from Latin cohort-, cohors enclosure, group, retinue, cohort, from co- + -hort-, -hors (akin to hortus garden) — more at yard

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Statistics for court

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for court

The first known use of court was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for court

court

noun

English Language Learners Definition of court

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a formal legal meeting in which evidence about crimes, disagreements, etc., is presented to a judge and often a jury so that decisions can be made according to the law
: a place where legal cases are heard
: an official group of people (such as a judge and jury) who listen to evidence and make decisions about legal cases

court

verb

English Language Learners Definition of court (Entry 2 of 2)

somewhat old-fashioned : to act in a way that shows that you want or intend to get married
of an animal : to perform the actions that lead to sexual activity
: to give a lot of attention and praise to (someone) in order to get approval, support, etc.

court

noun
\ ˈkȯrt How to pronounce court (audio) \

Kids Definition of court

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a space arranged for playing a certain game tennis court basketball court
2 : an official meeting led by a judge for settling legal questions or the place where it is held
3 : a judge or the judges presiding in a courtroom The court decides issues of law.
4 : the home of a ruler (as a king)
5 : a ruler's assembly of advisers and officers as a governing power
6 : the family and people who follow a ruler
7 : an open space completely or partly surrounded by buildings
8 : a short street
9 : respect meant to win favor Pay court to the king.

court

verb
courted; courting

Kids Definition of court (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to seek the love or companionship of
2 : to try to gain or get the support of : seek Both candidates courted new voters.
3 : to seem to be asking for : tempt You're courting trouble by not fixing your car.

court

noun
\ ˈkōrt How to pronounce court (audio) \

Legal Definition of court

1a : an official assembly for the administration of justice : a unit of the judicial branch of government the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establishU.S. Constitution art. III
b : a session of such a court
c usually capitalized : the Supreme Court of the United States
2 : a place (as a building, hall, or room) for the administration of justice order in the court
3 : a judge or judges acting in official capacity an issue to be decided by the court the court may neither preside at nor attend the meeting of creditors— J. H. Williamson
4 usually capitalized : a legislative body the General Court of Massachusetts
5 : a body (as the International Court of Justice) exercising judicial powers over its members or the members of a body represented by it an ecclesiastical court
out of court
: without a court hearing : by private arrangement settled out of court

History and Etymology for court

Old French, enclosed space, royal entourage, court of justice, from Latin cohort-, cohors farmyard, armed force, retinue

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More from Merriam-Webster on court

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with court

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for court

Spanish Central: Translation of court

Nglish: Translation of court for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of court for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about court

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