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 An article last Sunday about maternal health in the United States used an incorrect courtesy title for one of its authors, Jordan Downey. New York Times, 27 Nov. 2021 Even without being born an official prince, Archie was entitled to the courtesy title of Earl of Dumbarton as heir to his dad's Scottish earldom. Andrea Park, Marie Claire, 8 Mar. 2021 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, 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, 14 May 2019 But Meghan and Harry have chosen to forgo that courtesy title for their son. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, 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, 3 Aug. 2018 But with the courtesy titles at Wimbledon, the occasional unforced error is made. Karen Crouse, New York Times, 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, 4 July 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of courtesy title

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About courtesy title

Time Traveler for courtesy title

Time Traveler

The first known use of courtesy title was in 1865

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near courtesy title

courtesy phone

courtesy title

court game

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for courtesy title

Cite this Entry

“Courtesy title.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!