curtsy

noun
curt·​sy | \ˈkərt-sē \
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

The president and first lady appeared not to have followed long-running protocol in which a bow or curtsy is customary. Katie Rogers, New York Times, "From Truman to Trump, Queen Elizabeth Has Met 12 U.S. Presidents," 13 July 2018 And this morning, the future royal added another milestone to that list: Markle received a curtsy for the first time in public. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Experienced Her First Royal Curtsy," 18 Jan. 2018 Meghan has had months of practice to get her curtsy down pat. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "The Hidden Moment You May Have Missed Between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the Palace Balcony," 12 June 2018 For men, that means greeting a royal with a bow, and for women, a small curtsy, according to the Royal household. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Experienced Her First Royal Curtsy," 18 Jan. 2018 Rather the 27 young ladies, who elegantly nailed their curtsies June 16 during California Pacific Medical Center’s 54th San Francisco Debutante Ball at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, were focused on college and philanthropy. Catherine Bigelow, SFChronicle.com, "A bumper crop of 27 debutantes make SF debut," 25 June 2018 But never fear: Meghan did curtsy to Queen Elizabeth. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "The Best Gossip From the Royal Wedding," 22 May 2018 Despite concerns and questions online about whether Meghan curtsied to Queen Elizabeth, Meghan did curtsy to Queen Elizabeth at the royal wedding ceremony on May 19. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Yes, Meghan Markle Did Curtsy to the Queen at the Royal Wedding. Here's Why People Missed It," 19 May 2018 The British royal family may prefer a subtle genuflection, but events like debutante balls offer occasions for a more flamboyant curtsy like the Texas Dip. Malia Wollan, New York Times, "How to Curtsy," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In addition to Queen Elizabeth, Myka Meier, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, says Meghan will be expected to curtsy to Prince Philip, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Duchess of Cornwall. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "See the Moment Meghan and Kate Perfectly Curtsy to the Queen on the Balcony of Buckingham Palace," 9 June 2018 Harry was spotted adorably prompting Meghan when to curtsy upon his grandmother’s official arrival. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "The Hidden Moment You May Have Missed Between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the Palace Balcony," 12 June 2018 The Trumps did not appear to bow and curtsy upon greeting the Queen. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Tea With Queen Elizabeth II and a Giant Baby Trump—a President's London Itinerary," 13 July 2018 Members of the royal family, however, have explicit rules dictating who curtsies to whom. Malia Wollan, New York Times, "How to Curtsy," 9 May 2018 After curtsying to the monarch during the the royal procession alongside her daughter Princess Beatrice and her ex-husband, the 58-year-old was photographed chatting with the Queen. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Back in the Fold, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, Spent Ascot in the Royal Box," 22 June 2018 There’s even video of Meghan (and Kate and Prince Harry) curtsying to Queen Elizabeth. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Meghan Markle and the Rest of the Royals Celebrate the Queen’s Birthday," 9 June 2018 Royal biographer Indgrid Seward pointed out that the bride and Prince Harry were slated to bow and curtsy to the Queen after the national anthem in the ceremony, but some people didn't seem to spot it. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Don't Worry, Meghan Markle Did Curtsy to the Queen at the Royal Wedding," 23 May 2018 Despite concerns and questions online about whether Meghan curtsied to Queen Elizabeth, Meghan did curtsy to Queen Elizabeth at the royal wedding ceremony on May 19. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Yes, Meghan Markle Did Curtsy to the Queen at the Royal Wedding. Here's Why People Missed It," 19 May 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for curtsy

Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curtsy

The first known use of curtsy was in 1533

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on curtsy

Spanish Central: Translation of curtsy

Nglish: Translation of curtsy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curtsy for Arabic Speakers

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