cour·​tier | \ ˈkȯr-tē-ər How to pronounce courtier (audio) , ˈkȯrt-yər, ˈkȯr-chər \

Definition of courtier

1 : one in attendance at a royal court
2 : one who practices flattery

Examples of courtier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Four days after Prince Philip’s death, the queen attended a retirement ceremony for a royal courtier who had been instrumental in planning her husband’s funeral. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Queen Elizabeth, Ruling Without Prince Philip, Shows No Signs of Letting Up," 18 Apr. 2021 As Blanding relates, McCarthy’s approach to this vexing question centers on Elizabethan courtier and famed Plutarch translator Sir Thomas North. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "Shakespeare’s plays meet plagiarism-detection software," 31 Mar. 2021 One of the earliest Lowes to have survived, a short flapper-style dress from 1926, is the costume for a Gasparilla courtier that might have come from les petites mains of Lesage. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, "Ann Lowe’s Barrier-Breaking Mid-Century Couture," 22 Mar. 2021 Directors thought that their role was like that of a courtier: dealing with political muckety-mucks and refereeing fights among the staff. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Reforms Boost Italian Museums," 12 Sep. 2020 And every campaign official who talks to Trump about the latest polls does so with the trepidation of a courtier discussing Anne Boleyn with Henry VIII. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Trump’s Potemkin Reelection Campaign," 16 June 2020 In the first stage of this process, Trump turned the Republican Party from an organization whose leader was (at least formally) first among equals into a gaggle of fawning courtiers, not so much ancien as nouveau régime. Hari Kunzru, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy’s Red Line," 4 June 2020 As the British media went into meltdown, the royal matriarch moved quickly to take back control, ordering courtiers to sort out a future role for the couple within days. Washington Post, "New year, new headache for queen with Harry and Meghan rift," 11 Jan. 2020 He is tricked into joining a delegation to London by a courtier who has eyes for his wife. Dominic Dromgoole, New York Times, "A Rich, Old-Fashioned Spy Thriller Set in Elizabethan England," 11 Feb. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of courtier was in the 14th century

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Statistics for courtier

Last Updated

22 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Courtier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for courtier



English Language Learners Definition of courtier

: a member of a royal court (sense 3b)


court·​i·​er | \ ˈkȯr-tē-ər How to pronounce courtier (audio) \

Kids Definition of courtier

: a member of a royal court

More from Merriam-Webster on courtier

Nglish: Translation of courtier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of courtier for Arabic Speakers

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