court·​ship | \ ˈkȯrt-ˌship \

Definition of courtship

: the act, process, or period of courting

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Synonyms for courtship


courting, dating, lovemaking, suit

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Examples of courtship in a Sentence

They had a two-year courtship before marrying. The male of the species often displays aggression during courtship. the President's courtship of middle-class voters
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Recent Examples on the Web

Justin and Hailey got married earlier this year after a whirlwind courtship, and were spotted visiting a courthouse together in New York in September 2018. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey and Justin Bieber's 'Christmas Baby' Is the Cutest Puppy of All Time," 23 Dec. 2018 The far more common scenario is for a couple to be introduced through family or friends—or a growing number of Muslim dating apps and online matchmaking services—and then for both parties to agree to a courtship. 2. Huda Al-marashi, SELF, "7 Things I Wish More People Understood About My Arranged Marriage," 1 Nov. 2018 The two have embarked on a whirlwind romance, going from a secret summer courtship to an engagement in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Lynsey Eidell, Glamour, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Relationship: A Complete Timeline," 15 Oct. 2018 Cindy McCain The courtship between McCain and his second wife was brief. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How John McCain's Children Were Shaped by His Political Career," 27 Aug. 2018 At its core, Wall-E is a love story, and the courtship of Wall-E and EVE isn’t just achieved through silent film influences, but those films from the golden age of Hollywood as well. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Wall-E' References That Need to Be Revisited," 27 June 2018 Neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik Stephen Macknik’s courtship of Susana Martinez-Conde was more a sales pitch than a love song. Katie Worth, Scientific American, "When Scientists Are Mad about Each Other," 14 Feb. 2014 Labor unions are withholding support despite significant courtship from the U.S. Trade Representative. Pat Toomey, WSJ, "Let’s Vote on the New Nafta in the Current Congress," 20 Nov. 2018 According to People, Prince Harry pulled out all the stops early in his courtship with Meghan, and this included buying her a romantic piece of art, which features an adorable message. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Allegedly Bought This Romantic Gift for Meghan Markle When They Started Dating," 3 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'courtship.' 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 courtship

1596, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for courtship

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for courtship

The first known use of courtship was in 1596

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More Definitions for courtship



English Language Learners Definition of courtship

: the activities that occur when people are developing a romantic relationship that could lead to marriage or the period of time when such activities occur

: the behavior of animals that leads to sexual activity or the period of time when such behavior occurs

: an attempt to convince someone to support you or to choose you or your organization


court·​ship | \ ˈkȯrt-ˌship \

Kids Definition of courtship

: the act of seeking the love or companionship of someone

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Comments on courtship

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