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

If courtship is successful, the male fuses permanently to the female, and their tissues and circulatory systems commingle. William J. Broad, New York Times, "The Creepy Anglerfish Comes to Light. (Just Don’t Get Too Close.)," 29 July 2019 Only males call during courtship: the first part of the call establishes territory; the second syllable is meant to attract a mate. Suzanne Roberts, Longreads, "The Offer of a Two-Night Stand, When Just One Would Do," 15 July 2019 The details of Orpheus and Eurydice’s courtship aren’t as important as the universal rhythms of their attachment. Charles Mcnulty,, "Why ‘Hadestown’ deserves the Tony Award for best musical of the year," 3 June 2019 Observers of the soap opera-style Trump-Kim summit drama could be forgiven for thinking that a fragile courtship is underway, where the tenor of each side’s statements will determine whether the two can agree to sit down together. Washington Post, "Analysis: Wide US-North Korea gulf over nuclear deal terms," 26 May 2018 For Beal and the Wizards, the next step of their courtship comes Friday, when Washington becomes eligible to offer an extension to the former University of Florida guard on the three-year anniversary of his previous signing. Ira Winderman,, "Heat to find out if Beal street is even navigable," 25 July 2019 My parents hovered over me, their only child, telling me stories about our heritage and their courtship in Guatemala City. Héctor Tobar, The New Yorker, "The Assassin Next Door," 22 July 2019 Harry and Megan are passionate supporters of conservation, especially in Africa where the couple spent a lot of time during their courtship. Rosy Cordero,, "Beyoncé and Megan Markle embrace at The Lion King premiere in London," 14 July 2019 The length of the courtship was never a big concern. Priya Rao, Town & Country, "Down the Isle," 28 Dec. 2012

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

17 Aug 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

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of or relating to the heavens

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