curtsy

noun
curt·​sy | \ ˈkərt-sē How to pronounce curtsy (audio) \
variants: or less commonly curtsey
plural curtsies also curtseys

Definition of curtsy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an act of civility, respect, or reverence made mainly by women and consisting of a slight lowering of the body with bending of the knees

curtsy

verb
variants: or less commonly curtsey
curtsied also curtseyed; curtsying also curtseying

Definition of curtsy (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to make a curtsy

Examples of curtsy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fortunately, Meghan got a crash course from Harry and Fergie, and made it through the curtsy. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Biggest Revelations from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Oprah Interview," 8 Mar. 2021 Enter Ego Nwodim offering her services with a curtsy to Page. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "'SNL': Female cast thirsts over host Regé-Jean Page, 'Bridgerton' reimagined with awful intimacy coordinators," 21 Feb. 2021 Charlotte, in particular, made headlines for adorably accepting bouquets of flowers, hugging a woman in a wheelchair, and pulling off a perfect curtsy to her great-grandmother the Queen. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William Had Prince George & Princess Charlotte Practice Their Sandringham Christmas Walk," 29 Dec. 2019 Fergie performed a deep curtsy to Queen Elizabeth, and also dipped her head and raised her hand in the air. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Fergie Curtsied to the Queen at the Royal Ascot and the Internet Won’t Stop Talking About It," 22 June 2019 After watching mom Kate Middleton carry out the move, Princess Charlotte took hold of her coat and copied the regal curtsy. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Charlotte Copied Kate Middleton's Curtsy to the Queen," 26 Dec. 2019 To do it before giving the Queen the customary curtsy? Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Kissing the Queen on the Cheek Reveals a LOT About Her Status in the Royal Family," 25 May 2019 Some social historians say curtsies may also have evolved in Europe as a response to the declining popularity of greeting people with the lips. Thomas Mulier, Fortune, "The 1-meter rule: virologists pan high fives, ‘bro hugs’ and kissing as the coronavirus spreads," 26 Feb. 2020 At just 4 years old, Princess Charlotte has mastered her royal curtsy! Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Princess Charlotte Shows Off Her Picture-Perfect Curtsy to the Queen on Christmas," 26 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Meghan couldn't curtsy backwards across the moat fast enough. Raven Smith, Vogue, "The Enduring, Alarming Appeal of Princess Diana," 20 Aug. 2020 Later on in the morning she was spotted curtsying as her great-grandmother passed by. Natasha Reda, Glamour, "Kate Middleton Wears a Chic Faux Fur Catherine Walker Coat for Christmas Day," 25 Dec. 2019 After church, Princess Charlotte made quite the adorable attempt to curtsy on the steps as her great-grandmother, the Queen, drove by. Vogue, "Princess Charlotte’s First Walk to Church Included a Cute Curtsy—And a Fun Gift," 25 Dec. 2019 Speaking of curtsies, were curtsies in the 1920s different from the way people curtsy now? Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Downton Abbey's Historical Advisor Alastair Bruce Says He Was "Ruthless" on Set," 21 Sep. 2019 Upon greeting the Queen, Kate leaned in to give her a kiss on the cheek and then curtsied (see pictures of the cheek kiss and curtsy here). Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Kissing the Queen on the Cheek Reveals a LOT About Her Status in the Royal Family," 25 May 2019 And Morey was compelled to recant too, before his league, the National Basketball Association, and its biggest star, LeBron James, took turns curtsying to the Commies and thanking them for their business. Daniel Foster, National Review, "Progressive Woke, Communist Yoke," 24 Oct. 2019 In a new interview with Katie Couric, royal expert and commentator Omid Scobie broke down the way family hierarchy impacts who curtsies to whom. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Had to Memorize the Most Complicated Curtsying Rules When She Became Royal," 4 Aug. 2019 So basically: Anyone senior to Harry (like the Queen, for an obvious example), Meghan has to curtsy to, all of the time. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Had to Memorize the Most Complicated Curtsying Rules When She Became Royal," 4 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curtsy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of curtsy

Noun

1533, in the meaning defined above

Verb

circa 1553, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for curtsy

Verb

alteration of courtesy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about curtsy

Statistics for curtsy

Last Updated

11 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Curtsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curtsy. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for curtsy

curtsy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of curtsy

: a formal way of greeting an important person (such as a king or queen) in which a woman shows respect by placing one foot slightly behind the other and bending her knees

curtsy

verb
curt·​sy
variants: also curtsey \ ˈkərt-​sē \
curtsied also curtseyed; curtsying also curtseying

Kids Definition of curtsy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to lower the body slightly by bending the knees as an act of politeness or respect

curtsy

noun
variants: also curtsey
plural curtsies also curtseys

Kids Definition of curtsy (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of politeness or respect made by women and consisting of a slight lowering of the body by bending the knees

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on curtsy

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!