Definition of courtesan
: a prostitute with a courtly, wealthy, or upper-class clientele
Examples of courtesan in a Sentence
the protagonist of the novel is a composite of several real-life courtesans who plied their trade among the decadent aristocracy
Recent Examples of courtesan from the Web
Had Jack the Ripper not made his dramatic appearance a year later, Freundschuh convincingly argues, the courtesan killings would have entered into the historical annals.
That is some kind of ultimate 21st-century courtesan thing to have said.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'courtesan'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of courtesan
Middle French courtisane, from northern Italian dialect form of Italian cortigiana woman courtier, feminine of cortigiano courtier, from corte court, from Latin cohort-, cohors —see 1court
First Known Use: 1533
COURTESAN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of courtesan for English Language Learners
: a woman who has sex with rich or important men in exchange for money : a prostitute who has sex with wealthy and powerful men
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up courtesan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).