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

Drain will preside over whether the suits against the Sacklers in state courts will be able to move forward, and what will happen to the company itself. Washington Post, "Purdue Pharma begins Chapter 11 bankruptcy journey," 17 Sep. 2019 Hayes appeared in court on Monday and was ordered held without bond. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Police Arrest Alleged Serial Killer in Florida After DNA Links Him to 4 Murders," 16 Sep. 2019 The two sides could square off in court as early as this week. Dana Brown, The New Republic, "The Case for a Public Option for the Drug Industry," 16 Sep. 2019 Each of You and Trip Provider agrees to give up the right to sue in court. National Geographic, "Terms & Conditions," 15 Sep. 2019 In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty in a Florida state court to charges of soliciting a prostitute and procuring an underage girl for prostitution. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Stanford reveals it received $50,000 gift from Jeffrey Epstein," 14 Sep. 2019 The extremely weird saga of Yujing Zhang continued this week, as the Chinese businesswoman who slipped past various safeguards at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property this spring had her day in court. Wired, "Security News This Week: 'Simjacker' Attack Can Track Phones Just by Sending a Text," 14 Sep. 2019 The insurers said in a separate statement the settlement is well below the $20 billion the insurance companies had sought in bankruptcy court. Olga R. Rodriguez, The Denver Post, "PG&E reaches $11 billion deal with California wildfire insurers," 13 Sep. 2019 Huffman apologized to the judge as well as her daughters and husband, Shameless star William H. Macy, in court on Friday. Emma Specter, Vogue, "Felicity Huffman Has Been Sentenced to 14 Days in Prison," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

These are large demographics to be courted, potentially the difference between solvency and failure in the ever more crowded alt-meat arena. Washington Post, "Shalt thou eat an Impossible Burger? Religious doctrine scrambles to catch up to new food technology.," 12 Sep. 2019 Of the four lawmakers, Tlaib appears most likely to court a primary challenge. Brian Slodysko, Twin Cities, "Targeted by Trump, Rep. Ilhan Omar and the ‘squad’ are raising impressive campaign funds," 19 July 2019 Abrams is just the latest high profile producer to be courted for a huge production deal. Frank Pallotta, CNN, "WarnerMedia and Apple are reportedly in a bidding war for J.J. Abrams. Here's why," 6 June 2019 The weekend offered a rare chance for Californians to see the candidates up close, and to be courted by them. Julia Wick, latimes.com, "Essential California: Will Apple announce the end of iTunes at today’s developer conference?," 3 June 2019 Isabella was sure to be courted, if not for her looks, then for her lands and her title. National Geographic, "To seize power in Spain, Queen Isabella had to play it smart," 28 Mar. 2019 Where people are teaching young women, young men how to actually court and date. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Recode Decode," 21 Mar. 2018 Moeller ’19 offensive lineman Zach Carpenter continued to get courted by Power 5 this week, earning an offer from West Virginia on Jan. 24. John Snodgrass, Cincinnati.com, "Recruiting Trail: Dean to Butler, Phelps to Miami," 25 Jan. 2018 Trump courted the high-stakes meeting and then dropped it, perhaps because the choreography of the agreement signing -- the most essential and delicate part of any deal -- was poorly handled. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "John Bolton's firing won't end the confusion over US foreign policy," 11 Sep. 2019

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

10 Oct 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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