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

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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 The quartet took a stately tempo in the minuet, emphasizing its courtly associations. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 27 Apr. 2021 Dinkins, meanwhile, was known for his courtly manner, dapper dress, and meticulous grammar and speaking style, which represented a refreshing change for many New Yorkers. Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2020 Ballad’s third-person past fits Coriolanus’ intellectual courtly existence, all fake smiles and knowing banter with addled professors. Darren Franich, EW.com, 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, 20 Apr. 2020 Could this courtly gentleman really be capable of brutal savagery? Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 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, 20 Feb. 2020 Conan Doyle himself viewed these courtly and martial virtues as sacrosanct. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 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, 13 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Lowery’s challenge is less courtly, casting courtesy as a manipulation, a cover for cruelty and deceit. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 3 Aug. 2021 Set against the breathtaking backdrop of gray-skied Irish marshlands and crumbling stone castles, the film takes you deep into sacred forests, courtly chambers, and the eerie, glowing depths of a blood-red lake. Liam Hes, Vogue, 5 Aug. 2021 Wilson is a gracious, courtly man in person as well on the page. John Horgan, Scientific American, 25 June 2021 Warner, a courtly figure who squired celebrities and was married to Elizabeth Taylor when he was elected to the Senate in 1978, and went on to serve five terms before retiring from the chamber in 2008. CBS News, 26 May 2021 The courtly senator with chiseled features and a thick shock of gray hair was so popular with Virginia voters that Democrats did not bother to challenge him in 2002 for his re-election to his fifth term. CBS News, 26 May 2021 Warner, a courtly figure with chiseled features and a thick shock of gray hair, was so popular with Virginia voters that Democrats did not bother to challenge him in 2002 for his re-election to his fifth term. Eileen Putman, Anchorage Daily News, 26 May 2021 Properly taken at a thumping one beat per measure, the Minuet was more earthy than courtly. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 21 May 2021 Some history books will tell you that its counterbalanced cars were named Alphonse and Gaston, after two absurdly courtly Frenchmen, characters in a comic strip. Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of courtly

Adjective

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

Adverb

circa 1592, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for courtly

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

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Dictionary Entries Near courtly

courtling

courtly

courtly love

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Cite this Entry

“Courtly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/courtly. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for courtly

courtly

adjective

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

More from Merriam-Webster on courtly

Nglish: Translation of courtly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of courtly for Arabic Speakers

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