1

courtesy

noun cour·te·sy \ ˈkər-tə-sē , British also ˈkȯr- \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of courtesy

plural courtesies
1 a : behavior marked by polished manners or respect for others : courteous behavior
b : a courteous and respectful act or expression
2 a : general allowance despite facts : indulgence
  • hills called mountains by courtesy only
b : consideration, cooperation, and generosity in providing something (such as a gift or privilege); also : agency, means used chiefly in the phrases through the courtesy of or by courtesy of or sometimes simply courtesy of

Examples of courtesy in a Sentence

  1. Civilized life cannot be sustained without hypocrisy. A certain moral code, a degree of courtesy and decorum, are necessary to keep our instincts under a modicum of control. —Ian BurumaNew York Review of Books2 Nov. 2006
  2. Cara, who, courtesy of the cat, had a run in her leggings, picked up the phone in a panic … —Helen SchulmanWigwagNovember 1990
  3. "Coffee, sir?" asked a sailor. I nodded, still chilled. The courtesy, the ordinariness of these men was in the context somehow curious. —Fred ReedHarper'sSeptember 1988
  4. I tried to persuade him that all that Hamish Hamilton had attempted to do was to extend the kind of courtesies which cultural institutions thought to be his due. —Isaiah BerlinNew York Times Book Review12 Apr. 1987
  5. They treated us with courtesy and kindness.

  6. She did it as a courtesy, not because she had to.

  7. Everyone knows each other here, so we won't bother with the usual courtesies.

  8. They shook hands and exchanged courtesies before beginning their discussion.

Recent Examples of courtesy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'courtesy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of courtesy

Middle English corteisie, from Anglo-French curteisie, from curteis — see courteous


2

courtesy

adjective cour·te·sy \ ˈkər-tə-sē , British also ˈkȯr- \

Definition of courtesy

: granted, provided, or performed as a courtesy or by way of courtesy (see 1courtesy)
  • made a courtesy call on the ambassador

Examples of courtesy in a Sentence

  1. As the heir to an earldom, Stephen was obliged to pay a courtesy call on the British ambassador … —Ken FollettThe Man from St. Petersburg1982
  2. Important visitors to the conference were provided with courtesy cars.

Recent Examples of courtesy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'courtesy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of courtesy



COURTESY Defined for English Language Learners

courtesy

noun

Definition of courtesy for English Language Learners

  • : polite behavior that shows respect for other people

  • : something that you do because it is polite, kind, etc.

  • : something that you say to be polite especially when you meet someone


courtesy

adjective

Definition of courtesy for English Language Learners

  • : done in order to be polite

  • : provided for free


COURTESY Defined for Kids

courtesy

noun cour·te·sy \ ˈkər-tə-sē \

Definition of courtesy for Students

plural courtesies
1 : the quality or state of being respectful and considerate of others
2 : a polite or generous act or expression
  • Hot meals were served through the courtesy of volunteers.
3 : something that is a favor and not a right
  • Transportation is provided as a courtesy of the hotel.


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