cour·​te·​ous | \ˈkər-tē-əs, 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

What impresses us the most about Philadelphia is that despite its horrible reputation, at least in the world of sports, the residents are friendly and courteous. Ed Condran,, "Philadelphia Emerges As Colorful Travel Destination," 24 June 2018 The queen will obviously be very courteous to him.’’ There are conventions for how to address the queen., "Royal etiquette for the Trumps’ visit: Don’t kiss the queen," 13 July 2018 Bynum said the deputy was courteous and professional and later posed for a selfie with her on Facebook. CBS News, "State Rep. Janelle Bynum says police called as she canvassed neighborhood," 5 July 2018 Publix and Wegmans tied in cleanliness and item availability, while Trader Joe’s scored highest for the fastest checkout and courteous cashiers. Madison Roberts,, "This Grocery Store Has Been Named America's Favorite 3 Years In a Row," 15 June 2018 This was like him — quiet, courteous, out of the way. Sadia Hassan, Longreads, "Silence is a Lonely Country: A Prayer in Twelve Parts," 13 July 2018 For another, while the officer was courteous in this case, this really could have ended up being dangerous for Bynum., "Rep. Janelle Bynum Says Someone Called Police While She Was Campaigning," 5 July 2018 Nonetheless, the agents were respectful, courteous and professional. Tom Hays, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s ex-lawyer fires what could be a warning shot," 3 July 2018 The crackdown targets car and commercial truck drivers who are less than courteous behind the wheel. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Do you drive aggressively? State troopers are looking for you," 15 June 2018

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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Statistics for courteous

Last Updated

26 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for courteous

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

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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 \

Kids Definition of courteous

: showing respect and consideration for others : polite

Other Words from courteous

courteously adverb

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Comments on courteous

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