courtly

adjective
court·​ly | \ ˈkȯrt-lē How to pronounce courtly (audio) \
courtlier; courtliest

Definition of courtly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of a quality befitting the court : elegant
b : insincerely flattering
2 : favoring the policy or party of the court

courtly

adverb

Definition of courtly (Entry 2 of 2)

: in a courtly manner : politely

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from courtly

Adjective

courtliness noun

Examples of courtly in a Sentence

Adjective his courtly manners made him a favorite escort of widowed socialites
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Ballad’s third-person past fits Coriolanus’ intellectual courtly existence, all fake smiles and knowing banter with addled professors. Darren Franich, EW.com, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes review: Hunger Games prequel's darkly funny, way too long," 19 May 2020 Early last month, at a Mexican restaurant in Seattle, the first United States hot spot of the coronavirus outbreak, Mr. Hayes worked around the no-handshaking protocol with a good-natured, mock-courtly bow. John Schwartz, New York Times, "The ‘Profoundly Radical’ Message of Earth Day’s First Organizer," 20 Apr. 2020 Could this courtly gentleman really be capable of brutal savagery? Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "What if you saw something suspicious and did nothing? ‘The Lodger’ posits a consequence.," 21 Aug. 2019 The cops’ fictional pursuit of the Red Queen intersects with historical events and there are some delightful real-life cameos here, particularly the portrait of a wry and courtly Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., then the ambassador to South Vietnam. Jennifer Reese, New York Times, "Poisoned Sake and Mutilated Teddy Bears," 20 Feb. 2020 Conan Doyle himself viewed these courtly and martial virtues as sacrosanct. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "Arthur Conan Doyle wrote more than detective novels. Let’s not forget his more swashbuckling stories.," 15 Jan. 2020 Vincent Canby, however, the courtly film critic for The New York Times, was not one of them. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Dyanne Thorne, 83, Star of Scandalous ‘Ilsa’ Films, Is Dead," 13 Feb. 2020 The bartender inextricably associated with the cocktail was a courtly Scot named Duncan Nichols, who dispensed Pisco Punches from the 1870s until the bar closed in 1920. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "How Pisco Punch, the Holy Grail of San Francisco drinks, was lost and found," 27 Dec. 2019 Don’t let the elegant tails and cufflinks, the measured gait and the courtly bows, fool you. BostonGlobe.com, "With rigor and fantasy in equal parts, pianist András Schiff returns to the BSO - The Boston Globe," 19 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb From courtly letterpress to modern, there is stationery with the perfect look and feel to let friends and family know to reserve the day just for you two. oregonlive, "Marriage licenses are down, but dreams of planning a wedding can’t be dampened," 4 Sep. 2020 During the five-week course, students can expect to learn about courtly fashions, the craze for crinoline and how members of the royal family influence fashion today. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "Six Online Courses About Europe to Take Before You Can Safely Travel There Again," 27 Apr. 2020 Johnston, a courtly veteran hotelier accustomed to catering to the rich and famous, might seem an unlikely choice to voice bedrock American values in dark times. Harvey Solomon, Smithsonian Magazine, "When the Greenbrier and Other Appalachian Resorts Became Prisons for Axis Diplomats," 21 Feb. 2020 From courtly letterpress to modern, there is stationery with the perfect look and feel to let friends and family know to reserve the day just for you two. oregonlive, "Get ready for a dreamy, budget-minded wedding," 21 June 2020 Eventually, even the shocks of courtly excess — The Great's raison d'être — make way for a more conventional tale of royal intrigue. Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Great': TV Review," 1 May 2020 These courtly Republicans either lost to tougher Democrats or knuckled under to Democrats’ demands for larger social programs, higher domestic spending, tighter regulations, and fresher entitlements. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Go Ahead, Let Trump Make Your Day," 3 Mar. 2020 Netflix’s fantasy epic The Witcher is an enchanting mix of European folktales, Xena-era action/adventure, and courtly intrigue. Matthew Gault, Time, "If You Love Netflix's The Witcher, Try the Video Game it's Based On," 9 Jan. 2020 His gentle, courtly, and often playful manner quickly put Berg’s anxieties to rest. Calvin Tomkins, The New Yorker, "David Hammons Follows His Own Rules," 2 Dec. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of courtly

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

circa 1592, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about courtly

Time Traveler for courtly

Time Traveler

The first known use of courtly was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for courtly

Cite this Entry

“Courtly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/courtly. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for courtly

courtly

adjective
How to pronounce courtly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of courtly

: polite and graceful in a formal way

courtly

adjective
court·​ly | \ ˈkȯrt-lē How to pronounce courtly (audio) \
courtlier; courtliest

Kids Definition of courtly

: polite and graceful in a formal way courtly manners

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on courtly

What made you want to look up courtly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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