cour·​te·​ous | \ ˈkər-tē-əs How to pronounce courteous (audio) , British also ˈkȯ- \

Definition of courteous

1 : marked by polished manners, gallantry, or ceremonial usage of a court
2 : marked by respect for and consideration of others

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Other Words from courteous

courteously adverb
courteousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for courteous

civil, polite, courteous, gallant, chivalrous mean observant of the forms required by good breeding. civil often suggests little more than the avoidance of overt rudeness. owed the questioner a civil reply polite commonly implies polish of speech and manners and sometimes suggests an absence of cordiality. if you can't be pleasant, at least be polite courteous implies more actively considerate or dignified politeness. clerks who were unfailingly courteous to customers gallant and chivalrous imply courteous attentiveness especially to women. gallant suggests spirited and dashing behavior and ornate expressions of courtesy. a gallant suitor of the old school chivalrous suggests high-minded and self-sacrificing behavior. a chivalrous display of duty

Examples of courteous in a Sentence

There was no doubt that his stubbornly held and trenchantly expressed views—his trenchancy always tempered, however, by his gently courteous manner—contributed significantly to his unpopularity … — Simon Winchester, The Man Who Loved China, 2008 … she has seen generations of boys come and go, some well groomed and courteous, others rough and uppity … — Julian Barnes, New Yorker, 5 Mar. 1990 He joined us in the Yellow Room with … his son, a thoughtful, courteous, nice doctor … — Lady Bird Johnson 27 May 1964, in A White House Diary1970 The clerks were helpful and courteous. their customer service department always gives courteous responses, even to rude people
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Recent Examples on the Web Trail etiquette is not just being courteous to other users and not littering. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, "Who yields on a trail? Should you wear a mask? Arizona hiking etiquette questions answered," 30 Apr. 2021 Cyclists and motorists will be sharing the roadways and trails as the weather warms, and both are reminded that lawful, courteous and predictable behavior combined with patience help to keep us all safe., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 30 Apr. 2021 The governor toured the setup and experienced what Dare County residents have been raving about: courteous, smiling health professionals, easy-to-follow instructions and speedy delivery. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Crowd record, ‘secret prom,’ demand drop: News from around our 50 states," 20 Apr. 2021 Restrained and courteous, Mr Draghi is an unlikely wrecker. The Economist, "Italy’s new prime minister upends the country’s political parties," 13 Mar. 2021 Friends who have flown recently report that fellow passengers were generally rule-abiding and respectful and airline staff were firm but courteous enforcers of safety protocols. Susan Glaser, cleveland, "To travel or not? Pandemic-weary travel editor struggles with go-or-stay dilemma heading into holiday season," 5 Nov. 2020 Using real-life locations opens up Blaseball to a ton of potential issues in misrepresenting a place or culture, but the game has avoided that for the most part through quiet and courteous moderation. Pearse Anderson, Wired, "Fans Are Rallying Around Blaseball, America’s Favorite Splort," 16 Mar. 2021 Stone advises tenants to be professional and courteous when contacting their housing provider about a repair. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Need repairs in your rental unit? Here’s what to do," 9 Mar. 2021 Regardless of the opinions expressed the day of a protest, officers must act in a professional and courteous manner, as per the policy. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "New policy dictates San Diego Police Department’s response to protests," 21 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'courteous.' 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 courteous

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for courteous

Middle English corteis, from Anglo-French curteis, from curt

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Time Traveler for courteous

Time Traveler

The first known use of courteous was in the 13th century

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Statistics for courteous

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Courteous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for courteous



English Language Learners Definition of courteous

: very polite in a way that shows respect


cour·​te·​ous | \ ˈkər-tē-əs How to pronounce courteous (audio) \

Kids Definition of courteous

: showing respect and consideration for others : polite

Other Words from courteous

courteously adverb

Comments on courteous

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