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

The court may find me in contempt, and order me to jail. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Chelsea Manning Taken Into Custody for Refusing to Testify in Sealed Court Case," 8 Mar. 2019 On April 10, while Khloé was in Ohio (where the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player is based) preparing for the birth of her first child, Tristan was spotted off the court in NYC. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Definitive Timeline of Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson's Relationship," 21 Feb. 2019 Six nations also made the unprecedented move of asking the court to investigate Venezuela for possible crimes against humanity. Fabiola Sanchez, The Seattle Times, "Deadly crackdown stokes fear among protesters in Venezuela," 20 Feb. 2019 According to The Hill, Trump’s reputation for lying could be a factor if the national emergency becomes a case that ends up in the courts like the Muslim ban. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Is Threatening to Declare a National Emergency to Get Border Wall Funding. Here's Why He Shouldn’t.," 11 Jan. 2019 The question, like others in these cases, has never been answered by the courts. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018 According to court documents, Stewart and her team decided on the idea of requiring a credit card present for each purchase—the buyer would have to enter the first six digits of their card before the sale was complete. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Documents Show Facebook Knowingly Took Money from Unwitting Children," 25 Jan. 2019 According to court documents, Brown told investigators that after taking her to his home, Allen showed her his guns. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Cyntoia Brown Is Facing 51 Years in Prison, So People Are Pressing Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to Grant Her Clemency," 12 Dec. 2018 Friday was a big day for Robert Mueller’s investigation, with the special counsel filing two major court documents that appear to bring the probe closer to the president. Rachel Withers, Vox, "Trump responds to Mueller’s damning new filings: “NO COLLUSION”," 8 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some officials involved in courting Amazon extended the secrecy to university analysts, real-estate firms and outside business groups, though not at Amazon’s request. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "After Amazon HQ2, Some Lawmakers Question Nondisclosure Requirements," 26 Nov. 2018 Booker has been among the most aggressive in courting supporters in early-voting states. Juana Summers, The Seattle Times, "Why wait? Democrats openly flirt with 2020 White House bids," 13 Nov. 2018 If the idea of a private company actively courting those who share its ideology sounds vaguely discriminatory, Lo doesn’t mind. Vogue, "Lobby Hero: Katherine Lo's New Hotel Touts Progressive Politics, Down the Street from the Trump International," 20 July 2018 The size of the crowds networks are courting is still relatively small. Yvonne Villarreal, latimes.com, "ATX Television Festival: A playground for TV producers and TV fans," 14 June 2018 Still, Facebook has struggled to gain momentum, and in January an executive in charge of courting China's government left after spending three years on a charm campaign to get the social media service back in the country. Anchorage Daily News, "Facebook gave data access to Chinese firm flagged by U.S. intelligence," 6 June 2018 But general manager and head coach Bill Belichick has a long history of courting multi-sport athletes. Drew Davison And Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "Mock Draft 3.0: Cowboys coin flip of Calvin Ridley vs. Leighton Vander Esch? | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 20 Apr. 2018 That leaves airlines balancing the desire to cater to those flyers’ wishes with the challenges of safely transporting animals — and the risk of courting fierce backlash if things go wrong. Lauren Zumbach And Ally Marotti, chicagotribune.com, "United takes heat over puppy's tragic overhead bin death. But flyers' love for pets puts airlines in tough spot.," 14 Mar. 2018 IndyCar is constantly in the process of courting manufacturers in the hopes of adding one to the series. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "After years of being stuck in neutral, IndyCar 'at beginning of a resurgence'," 8 Mar. 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 Mar 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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