courtly

adjective
court·ly | \ˈkȯrt-lē \
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

Maestri’s Scarpia, though, was pure mastery, with the character’s courtly pretensions expressed with an effective vocal veneer but with no stinting on the character’s dark heart. David Patrick Stearns, Philly.com, "Love 'Tosca'? Philadelphia Orchestra's staging doesn't disappoint," 13 May 2018 Among the adult supporting characters, Angela Lansbury has some amusing moments as Aunt March and Michael Gambon some touchingly courtly ones as Mr. Laurence, the wealthy neighbor. New York Times, "Review: ‘Little Women,’ Through British Eyes," 11 May 2018 The program began with vocal music by Rossi in Hebrew and Italian, continued with later works based on synagogue melodies collected by Benedetto Marcello, and eventually returned to Rossi for courtly dances and a wedding ode with echo effects. Alan Artner, chicagotribune.com, "Review: It was Italian Baroque music, and it was spectacular," 9 Apr. 2018 On a sweltering morning in Old Havana, a courtly figure in a crisp gray guayabera shirt weaves through the Plaza de Armas, the city’s Spanish colonial heart, trying not to attract attention. Néstor Martí, Smithsonian, "The Man Who Saved Havana," 18 Apr. 2018 The score is made up of lively country tunes, courtly dances, thrumming interludes, lyrical laments, and ornate fanfares. Zoë Madonna, BostonGlobe.com, "Handel and Haydn ‘Fairy Queen’ is delightful," 7 Apr. 2018 So this is who Quentin is, with his courtly manner masking all kinds of nastiness. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "'The Chi' recap Episode 9: In Tracy and Quentin, some dark histories show their faces," 12 Mar. 2018 Drag Race indeed does thrive on the whiplash of seeing, say, a 6-foot-4-inch ex-con from Compton transform into a courtly Aretha Franklin. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "It's Time for Drag Race to Move Past the Binary," 6 Mar. 2018 One is courtly and crisp, the other blustery and brash. Marc Fisher, Washington Post, "Mueller and Trump: Born to wealth, raised to lead. Then, sharply different choices.," 23 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Powell, a courtly Virginian, was then the court's moderate, keeping the bench from tilting too far left or right. Bill Mears, Fox News, "Anthony Kennedy: Swing justice wielded quiet power in a range of high-profile cases," 27 June 2018 The scrapbooks have been digitized so that visitors will be able to page through excerpts from them, and Mr. Cunningham’s voice — courtly and unfailingly polite — rings through, even if his distinctive Boston accent does not. Matthew Schneier, New York Times, "Bill Cunningham’s Unseen Scrapbooks," 8 June 2018 The Pas de Six actually has seven dancers; Thursday’s cast — Kathleen Breen Combes, Lia Cirio, Ji Young Chae, Ashley Ellis, Patrick Yocum, Paul Craig, and Patric Palkens — was, again, Bournonville courtly and communal. Jeffrey Gantz, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Ballet has the measure of Bournonville in ‘La Sylphide’," 25 May 2018 The film offers around an hour of scene-setting and discussion, leading to a Tennessee gathering of American Renaissance believers, where courtly Taylor urges attendees not to let protesters goad them. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Alt-Right: Age of Rage': Film Review | SXSW 2018," 10 Mar. 2018 And no one besides her courtly older boyfriend Orlando (sophisticated and suave Francisco Reyes) understands the young singer-waitress. Laura Demarco, cleveland.com, "'A Fantastic Woman': Oscar-nominated Chilean film lives up to its name (review)," 27 Feb. 2018 Cooper is from Abingdon, Virginia—southern, artsy—and still retains the town’s courtly, speak-in-complete-sentences-and-remember-your-name manners. Zach Baron, GQ, "Director Scott Cooper on Hostiles and Making Movies About People Living on the Margins," 22 Dec. 2017 And temperamentally, the Arthur that Ritchie and his co-writers Lionel Wigram and Joby Harold have conjured is no more a creature of mannered, courtly Sir Thomas Malory than is one of the gangsters from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Katy Waldman, Slate Magazine, "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," 12 May 2017 Some, like Milton Caniff (or my father), were warm and courtly. Cullen Murphy, Vanities, "When Fairfield County Was the Comic-Strip Capital of the World," 9 Aug. 2017

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

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

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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 \
courtlier; courtliest

Kids Definition of courtly

: polite and graceful in a formal way courtly manners

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