court

noun, often attributive
\ ˈkȯrt \

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

Williams appeared on the court wearing another custom catsuit by Nike. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Serena Williams Brought Back the Catsuit for the 2019 Australian Open," 15 Jan. 2019 Many of these judges are likely here to stay for some time — solidifying a larger conservative presence in the courts. Li Zhou, Vox, "Trump has gotten 66 judges confirmed this year. In his second year, Obama had gotten 49.," 27 Dec. 2018 Nike confirmed the news in its most recent earnings call during which its Executive Vice President said that the sneakers would launch in spring of the new year, and designed to be used on the basketball court. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Nike’s self-lacing sneakers will return in 2019 at a much more affordable price," 21 Dec. 2018 The bulwark against this technology may in fact lay in the courts. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Can Anyone Stop Our Slide into Face-Scanning Dystopia?," 9 Nov. 2018 The Haiti policy wasn’t in effect when Barr (and Bush) left office — it was put on hold by an appeals court, much to Barr’s chagrin. Dara Lind, Vox, "William Barr hearing: attorney general nominee’s immigration record aligns with Trump’s," 16 Jan. 2019 Nestled among Cypress trees and Monterey pines, the place gives off major '60s vibes thanks to its retro refit, complete with shuffleboard and croquet courts, swimming pools, and fire pits for roasting s'mores. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend in California's Secret Wine Country," 8 Jan. 2019 This legal theory has been generally recognized by courts, even in recent years. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Man sues feds after being detained for refusing to unlock his phone at airport," 18 Dec. 2018 It was sealed by a California court, that information. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Microsoft is more valuable than Apple again. Why?," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Goldman has historically dominated megadeals but is now chasing smaller transactions, hiring more bankers and courting the thousands of companies owned by private-equity firms. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Goldman’s M&A Bankers Shine, Traders Stumble as Malaysian Scandal Looms," 16 Jan. 2019 With that pretense in place, critical coverage and unflattering facts can be dismissed even as Trump selectively courts the press to inject his own preferred ideas into the mainstream. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Jim Acosta vs. the Trump White House, explained," 14 Nov. 2018 Moreover, despite his vehement opposition to the establishment, López Obrador has softened his tone, courting a wide spectrum of support from business leaders, trade unionists and the political old guard. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Mexico’s presidential frontrunner is promising a revolution. Can he deliver?," 29 June 2018 Daredevil extraordinaire Johnny Knoxville is back on the silver screen, courting danger in the new comedy Action Point. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Johnny Knoxville Relives the Craziest Stunts of His Career," 1 June 2018 Where central banks are less politically independent, courting votes by pumping accounts full of money, or punishing political opponents by draining them, could be irresistible. The Economist, "Central banks should consider offering accounts to everyone," 26 May 2018 With European Union membership still years away, Vucic is fostering ties with Russia while courting money from China for industrial and infrastructure projects. Andrea Dudik, Bloomberg.com, "Europe Exposes Its Weakness to Russia and China in the Balkans," 16 May 2018 Nelson and Scott held held dueling town halls in Kissimmee on April 20, courting the Puerto Rican community, and Scott was slated to speak later Saturday at a Lincoln Day dinner in Seminole County. Jeff Weiner, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Bill Nelson visits new Pulse memorial: 'Really, it overwhelms you'," 12 May 2018 Bin Salman has developed close relations with the Trump White House, courting the President's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, in particular. Nicole Gaouette, CNN, "Saudi Arabia set to pursue nuclear weapons if Iran restarts program," 9 May 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

14 Feb 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 \

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 \

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

Comments on court

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