courtesy title


: 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
: 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 While Peter and Zara were not entitled to royal status by birth, Queen Elizabeth extended a courtesy title to Anne’s children, which her daughter politely declined in the hope of providing a more normal childhood. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 21 Dec. 2023 Indeed, courtesy titles of any kind are in danger of disappearing. Miss Manners | Judith Martin, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Aug. 2023 Smith, who grew up in Colorado Springs and uses a gender-neutral courtesy title. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Dec. 2022 Devine, the founder of Lolide, who uses a gender neutral courtesy title. Abigail Covington, New York Times, 29 Sep. 2022 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'courtesy title.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of courtesy title was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near courtesy title

Cite this Entry

“Courtesy title.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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