courtesy title


Definition of courtesy title

1 : a title (such as "Lord" added to the Christian name of a peer's younger son) used in addressing certain lineal relatives of British peers
2 : a title (such as "Professor" for any teacher) taken by the user and commonly accepted without consideration of official right

Examples of courtesy title in a Sentence

the courtesy titles “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Ms.,” “Dr.,” etc. As a child, he was taught to address his elders with the courtesy titles “sir” and “ma'am.”
Recent Examples on the Web Henry was born in Highclere on January 19, 1924, and given the courtesy title of Lord Porchester as the son of the 6th Earl of Carnarvon. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Porchey? The Queen's Old Friend Returns in The Crown Season 3," 21 Nov. 2019 Meghan and Harry decided against using the courtesy title Earl of Dumbarton for their son, but Archie will automatically become an HRH and a Prince when Charles becomes King. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Just Met Their New Nephew Archie," 14 May 2019 But Meghan and Harry have chosen to forgo that courtesy title for their son. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "What Will Prince Harry's Son Archie's Title Be When Prince Charles Becomes King?," 11 May 2019 According to Debrett's, a courtesy title is a title such as Lord, Lady or The Honourable, which is usually used by the sons, daughters, daughters-in-law, brothers, sisters, and sisters-in-law of a peer. Temi Adebowale, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Amelia Windsor and Kitty Spencer Are Titled "Lady" Instead of "Princess" or "Duchess"," 3 Aug. 2018 But with the courtesy titles at Wimbledon, the occasional unforced error is made. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "At Wimbledon, Married Women Are Still ‘Mrs.’," 4 July 2018 Another Grand Slam event, the French Open, also uses the courtesy titles Madame and Mademoiselle for the women — but not Monsieur for the men. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "At Wimbledon, Married Women Are Still ‘Mrs.’," 4 July 2018 The new parents could also decline the courtesy titles, like Princess Anne did with Peter and Zara Phillips. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Expecting Their First Child," 15 Oct. 2018 That means Pippa will eventually inherit a courtesy title too: Lady of Glen Affric. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Who Are Pippa Middleton and James Matthews?," 19 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'courtesy title.' 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 courtesy title

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of courtesy title was in 1865

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Cite this Entry

“Courtesy title.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for courtesy title

courtesy title


English Language Learners Definition of courtesy title

: a polite and formal word that is used in place of someone's name or as part of someone's name

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