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 Evans had been charged with violating department policies on use of force as well as courteous conduct in the arrest on Dec. 9, 2018. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "LMPD chief: Louisville officer exonerated for punching driver during a traffic stop," 2 Jan. 2020 Meier believes a 24-hour reimbursal through the app is most courteous. Washington Post, "So you want to split the check? How to send your date a Venmo request without being tacky.," 2 Aug. 2019 So, during the next three months, let’s be a bit more courteous in our interactions with our fellow shoppers. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Attention, shoppers: ’tis the season to be jolly. And courteous.," 10 Nov. 2019 Rearick currently works at the CVS on Ridge Road and was awarded the Best Pharmacy Technician award for being courteous, friendly and knowledgeable. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Brecksville LobsterFest -- another delicious success: Talk of the Towns," 25 Oct. 2019 If incidental contact occurs, offenders may be courteous but must immediately remove themselves from the situation. Scottie Andrew And Tina Burnside, CNN, "Sex offenders have sued a Georgia sheriff's office for placing 'no trick-or-treat' signs in their yards," 24 Oct. 2019 Our department strives to deliver professional and courteous service. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Orlando Police Officer Suspended After Arresting Two Children, Ages 6 And 8," 23 Sep. 2019 Our Department strives to deliver professional and courteous service. The Washington Post, al, "Florida school resource officer arrests, handcuffs 6-year-old girl," 23 Sep. 2019 Axis prisoners are quietly courteous, and are amazed at, but nonetheless grateful for their good treatment. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Edith R. ‘Roddy’ Esslinger, Army nurse who served in World War II and the Korean War, dies," 9 Sep. 2019

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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Courteous.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for courteous


How to pronounce courteous (audio)

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

What made you want to look up courteous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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