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

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 There follows a high-strung romance between the courtly Renato and the outwardly hesitant, inwardly hopeful Jane, one that is complicated when it is revealed that Renato is a married man (though a discontent one). Peter Tonguette, WSJ, 13 July 2022 Carrère’s manner was measured, almost courtly; his smile resembles a wince. Ian Parker, The New Yorker, 4 July 2022 In fact, Cartier hardly needed a courtly setting to drive home the message that these pieces were destined for modern royals, both the literal and figurative kind. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 29 June 2022 Relief sculptures, on loan from the British Museum, that depict warfare, hunting, courtly life, etc. Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2022 Relief sculptures, on loan from the British Museum, that depict warfare, hunting, courtly life, etc. Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2022 Relief sculptures, on loan from the British Museum, that depict warfare, hunting, courtly life, etc. Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2022 Count Orlok, played by Max Schreck, is reclusive and antisocial, not a courtly debonair. Roy Schwartz, CNN, 2 Apr. 2022 Relief sculptures, on loan from the British Museum, that depict warfare, hunting, courtly life, etc. Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for courtly

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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