court

1 of 2

noun

plural courts
often attributive
1
a
: the residence or establishment of a sovereign or similar dignitary
riding to the king's court
b
: a sovereign's formal assembly of councillors and officers
The king held a general court.
c
: the sovereign and officers and advisers who are the governing power
The court has decided against the alliance.
d
: the family and retinue of a sovereign
The court enjoyed the tournament.
e
: a reception held by a sovereign
2
a(1)
: a manor house or large building surrounded by usually enclosed grounds
Hampton Court
(2)
: motel
b
: an open space enclosed wholly or partly by buildings or circumscribed by a single building
the court at the center of the palace
c
: a quadrangular space walled or marked off for playing one of various games with a ball (such as tennis, handball, or basketball)
also : a division of such a court
d
: a wide alley with only one opening onto a street
3
a
: an official assembly for the transaction of judicial business see also court-packing, pack the court
b
: a session of such a court
The court is now adjourned.
c
: a place (such as a chamber) for the administration of justice
sat quietly in the back of the court
see also take to court
d
: a judge or judges in session
also : a faculty or agency of judgment or evaluation
… rest our case in the court of world opinion … Leonard H. Marks
4
a
: an assembly or board with legislative or administrative powers
5
: conduct or attention intended to win favor or dispel hostility : homage
pay court to the king

court

2 of 2

verb

courted; courting; courts

transitive verb

1
a
: to seek to gain or achieve
court power
b(1)
: allure, tempt
mountain streams courting the fishermen
(2)
: to act so as to invite or provoke
courts disaster
2
a
: to seek the affections of
especially : to seek to win a pledge of marriage from
b
of an animal : to perform actions in order to attract for mating
a male bird courting a female
3
a
: to seek to attract (as by solicitous attention or offers of advantages)
college teams courting high school basketball stars
Both candidates were courting the independent voters.
b
: to seek an alliance with

intransitive verb

1
: to engage in social activities leading to engagement and marriage
2
of an animal : to engage in activity leading to mating
a pair of robins courting in the trees

Example Sentences

Noun Court is now in session. Court is adjourned for the day. There was a large group of protesters outside the court. a lawyer who has appeared in courts around the country The case is before the state's highest court. She's a judge on an appellate court. The prosecution has new evidence to submit to the court. Please explain to the court what happened that night. The court ruled the law unconstitutional. The court reversed the lower court's decision. Verb The couple courted for two years before marrying. He was courting his college sweetheart. a pair of robins courting The male will sometimes court the female for hours. college teams courting high school basketball stars The speech was clearly intended to court middle-class voters. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In Brackeen, the court will decide the fate of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Samantha Maltais, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Nov. 2022 When corrections officers called the names of inmates to be released after court, Rahman identified himself as another inmate who was set to be released, according to the sheriff's department. Vic Verbalaitis, The Arizona Republic, 24 Nov. 2022 Throughout all of it, Race Thompson (20 points, 8 rebounds) was a force in his first game of the year without Jackson-Davis, his front court mate. Wilson Moore, The Indianapolis Star, 24 Nov. 2022 Soon, fans – including at least one parent of an SDSU player – spilled out of the stands onto the court and moved toward the Arkansas coaches as security ushered them to their locker room. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Nov. 2022 Barrett denied the request to block the program without explanation, as is often the case on the court's emergency docket. John Fritze, USA TODAY, 24 Nov. 2022 Many incidents also remain unresolved, with investigations underway or court proceedings ongoing. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 24 Nov. 2022 Upgrade their court style with this personalized tennis bag. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 24 Nov. 2022 The court sided with four survivors of the attack who brought a civil suit against the Dutch state for compensation. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 24 Nov. 2022
Verb
Asked how Lake might court Taylor Robson’s support following the bitter attacks of the campaign, Lake offered a personal story from growing up as the youngest of nine siblings in Iowa. Stacey Barchenger, USA TODAY, 5 Aug. 2022 Asked how Lake might court Taylor Robson’s support following the bitter attacks of the campaign, Lake offered a personal story from growing up as the youngest of nine siblings in Iowa. Stacey Barchenger, The Arizona Republic, 4 Aug. 2022 McVay also continues to openly court free agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to re-sign with the Rams. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2022 The larger that group of people grows, the more companies and capital will try to court them—Neumann won’t be the only one. WIRED, 27 Aug. 2022 Of the three police agencies that took The Tribune to court over the release of Garrity statements, Cottonwood Heights later agreed to drop its litigation after The Tribune received the records. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Sep. 2022 However, payment is still outstanding, according to SDC, which is bringing Paradise Square to court to enforce the award. Caitlin Huston, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Aug. 2022 In fact, only Montreal and Toronto have seemed to consistently court Italian players, Sebastian Giovinco’s breakthrough in leading Toronto to an MLS Cup title in 2017 appearing to rekindle interest. Frank Dell'apa, BostonGlobe.com, 19 July 2022 The Guardians may still not court the top players, but should be able to take a stronger run at those second-tier free agents out of reach in the past. Tom Withers, ajc, 19 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French curt, court, from Latin cohort-, cohors enclosure, group, retinue, cohort, from co- + -hort-, -hors (akin to hortus garden) — more at yard

First Known Use

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of court was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near court

Cite this Entry

“Court.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/court. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

court

1 of 2 noun
ˈkō(ə)rt How to pronounce court (audio)
ˈkȯ(ə)rt
1
a
: the residence of a ruler and especially a king or queen
b
: a ruler's formal assembly of advisers and officers as a governing body
c
: the family and followers of a ruler
2
a
: an open space completely or partly surrounded by buildings
b
: a space for playing a ball game
a tennis court
c
: a wide alley with only one opening onto a street
3
a
: an assembly for carrying out judicial business
b
: a session of a judicial assembly
court is now adjourned
c
: a building or room where legal cases are heard
d
: a judge in session
4
: attention designed to win favor
pay court to the king

court

2 of 2 verb
1
a
: to try to gain
court favor
b
: to act so as to invite or provoke
court disaster
2
: to seek the affections or favor of
the candidate courted the voters
3
a
: to engage in a social relationship usually leading to marriage
b
: to engage in activity leading to mating
a pair of robins courting

Legal Definition

court

noun
1
a
: an official assembly for the administration of justice : a unit of the judicial branch of government
the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish U.S. Constitution art. III
b
: a session of such a court
c
usually capitalized : the Supreme Court of the United States
2
: a place (as a building, hall, or room) for the administration of justice
order in the court
3
: a judge or judges acting in official capacity
an issue to be decided by the court
the court may neither preside at nor attend the meeting of creditors J. H. Williamson
4
usually capitalized : a legislative body
the General Court of Massachusetts
5
: a body (as the International Court of Justice) exercising judicial powers over its members or the members of a body represented by it
an ecclesiastical court

History and Etymology for court

Old French, enclosed space, royal entourage, court of justice, from Latin cohort-, cohors farmyard, armed force, retinue

More from Merriam-Webster on court

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