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


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

The couple’s brief courtship is featured on the MTV digital reality show Tana Turns 21. Jodi Guglielmi,, "Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau Are Getting Married in Las Vegas — and MTV Is Filming Everything," 16 July 2019 Hicks details the Saban to Texas courtship after ‘12 season. Creg Stephenson |, al, "Nick Saban was interested in Texas job at one time, former regent Tom Hicks says," 9 July 2019 What's notable here is the start of Nate and Jenny's endless courtship (who doesn't root for two good-hearted simpletons?) and the touching, poignant conversation between Allison and Rufus. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Every Single Episode of Gossip Girl, Ranked," 19 Sep. 2018 The Casper Star-Tribune reports a pair of falcons showed behavior consistent with courtship, but the weather might have put a damper on breeding. USA TODAY, "Chicago cows, bras for turtles, gold rush: News from around our 50 states," 1 July 2019 Their courtship is awkward, but the purity and sweetness of it sneaks up on you, so bring a tissue. Joey Morona,, "Why ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is the antidote for Marvel fatigue," 27 June 2019 Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook is a romantic drama about the enduring love between Noah and Allie, spanning the earliest days of their teen courtship through their struggles to remember each other in their twilight years. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Vanessa Hudgens to lead reading of The Notebook musical adaptation," 13 June 2019 In 2014, a 30-year-old woman got stuck in a chimney for two hours while trying to break into the Thousand Oaks home of a man who recently ended their courtship. Fox News, "Los Angeles-area firefighters rescue teen girl stuck in chimney," 6 June 2019 Restrained by social conventions, their eventual courtship is a slow burn, eschewing much of the breathless physicality that made Blue is the Warmest Color’s première such a sensation. Marley Marius, Vogue, "5 Under-the-Radar Cannes Films Critics Are Buzzing About," 23 May 2019

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

20 Jul 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

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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Comments on courtship

What made you want to look up courtship? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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