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 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 Degner was proud and meticulous, while Anderson was easy going and courteous. Peter Lyon, Forbes, "Osamu Suzuki To Retire After More Than 40 Years At Suzuki’s Helm," 27 Feb. 2021 Participant are asked to be courteous and remain 6 feet apart from volunteers and other teams. Arkansas Online, "Escape, give, shop, run for charity," 25 Feb. 2021 Politeness: Are the folks in your state known for having a smile and a courteous demeanor? Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "No, you don’t need a second flu shot: The Wake Up for Friday, Oct. 2, 2020," 2 Oct. 2020

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

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Courteous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 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

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Comments on courteous

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