curtesy

noun

cur·​te·​sy ˈkər-tə-sē How to pronounce curtesy (audio)
plural curtesies
: a husband's interest upon the death of his wife in the real property of an estate that she either solely owned or inherited provided they bore a child capable of inheriting the estate compare dower

Examples of curtesy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dower and curtesy apply to wives and husbands, respectively. Josh Snyder, Arkansas Online, 15 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'curtesy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English corteisie courtesy

First Known Use

1523, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of curtesy was in 1523

Dictionary Entries Near curtesy

Cite this Entry

“Curtesy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curtesy. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Legal Definition

curtesy

noun
cur·​te·​sy ˈkər-tə-sē How to pronounce curtesy (audio)
plural curtesies
: a husband's interest at common law in a life estate upon the death of his wife in the real property that she either solely owned or inherited provided that they bore a child capable of inheriting the property compare dower, elective share
Etymology

Anglo-French curteisie, literally, favor, courtesy, originally in the phrase par la corteysie de Engleterre (tenancy) by courtesy of (the law of) England (as opposed to natural right)

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