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

Old-school tradition dictated that the guy paid as part of a chivalrous courtship. Michelle Singletary,, "Who should foot the bill on the first date?," 1 June 2018 This fictional take on the royal courtship stars Murray Fraser as Prince Harry and Parisa Fitz-Henley as Meghan Markle. Lena Grossman, Time, "Here's Every Meghan Markle TV Special You Can Watch Before the Royal Wedding," 2 May 2018 The two of them once passed two very happy weekends of courtship in attempts to reconstruct an ancient catapult called an onager. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 Image As Amazon dances through courtship rituals with the 20 cities hoping to host its second headquarters, the company is also charging ahead on a slate of other real estate projects. New York Times, "Amazon, Not Waiting for HQ2, Announces Projects in Boston and Vancouver," 1 May 2018 What starts as multi-piece puzzles during the relationship's awkward beginnings evolves into much simpler shapes as the flow of the courtship gets more comfortable. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Florence’s breezy, slice-of-life romance is a refreshing take on gaming," 15 Feb. 2018 Another hummingbird highlight was a dawn display by three Fiery topaz birds perched on a bare branch above a stream outside of Mitu, where the males performed dazzling courtship dances for unseen females. James F. Mccarty,, "Colombia offers unspoiled beauty for tourists after being unreachable for decades (photos)," 13 Feb. 2018 They were married after a along distance courtship and moved to Bloomfield with their daughters. Hartford Courant,, "Richard A. Lue," 17 June 2018 When Wayne hears of the death of his wife, Mary (Polly) Penrose Wayne, while on the campaign, Ms. Stockwell takes us back to their courtship and Wayne’s failures as a husband. Kathleen Duval, WSJ, "‘Unlikely General’ Review: He Opened the Way West," 15 May 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

12 Oct 2018

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

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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