court·​ship | \ ˈkȯrt-ˌship How to pronounce courtship (audio) \

Definition of courtship

: the act, process, or period of courting

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Synonyms for courtship


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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 This dissonance in our tastes surfaced early in our courtship and led to comical misfires. Mark Oppenheimer, Washington Post, "An undiscovered library: My wife’s books," 10 July 2020 The Lanett, Alabama product headed to Tuscaloosa as a freshman this fall was candid speaking about his courtship as part of an video series profiling incoming stars. Michael Casagrande |, al, "Meet Kristian Story, Alabama’s versatile Mr. Football," 9 July 2020 Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious courtship of international investors has helped turn India into a rare bright spot for dealmaking in 2020, a shift that bankers say is likely to continue as the battle for the country’s digital economy heats up. Manuel Baigorri, Fortune, "How India became an unlikely M&A hotspot," 9 July 2020 However, even with the good news, fans shouldn't expect a deep dive into the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's—Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—courtship, or their decision to step back from senior roles. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Netflix’s The Crown Will Now Run for Six Seasons, Instead of Five," 9 July 2020 Male cardinals feed females beak-to-beak as part of their courtship, which looks an awful lot like K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Male and female cardinals also both sing, something most female birds don’t do. René A. Guzman,, "S.A.’s Common Critters: Cardinals shine with character and symbolism in San Antonio," 7 July 2020 The story spans sixteen years in the life of a couple, beginning with the courtship of Mary Spencer (Simmons) and Fred Wilson (John Forsythe), in 1953. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Rediscovering “The Happy Ending,” a Movie About the Dreams and Delusions of Marriage (and the Movies)," 7 July 2020 Darcy’s approach to courtship is outmoded in a less endearing way. The Economist, "Home Entertainment The BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice” is a lockdown delight," 27 June 2020 The plot follows the ups and downs of a conventional romance’s plot of courtship, but the major conflict is hushed—no dramatic upsets, just the slow but powerful tick of history. Tiana Reid, The New York Review of Books, "Searching for Freedom in ‘Cane River’ and the Black Outdoors," 20 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for courtship

Time Traveler

The first known use of courtship was in 1596

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Statistics for courtship

Last Updated

21 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Courtship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce courtship (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of courtship

somewhat old-fashioned : 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 How to pronounce courtship (audio) \

Kids Definition of courtship

: the act of seeking the love or companionship of someone

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