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

Scobie explained the ins and outs of royal curtsy rules in a new interview with Katie Couric. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Had to Memorize the Most Complicated Curtsying Rules When She Became Royal," 4 Aug. 2019 The Duchess of Sussex has had plenty of curtsy practice since entering the royal limelight. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Curtsy to the Queen in Westminster Abbey," 11 Mar. 2019 Fergie, 59, showed off her deep curtsy when 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth arrived. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Sarah Ferguson Shows Off Deep Curtsy as She Reunites with Ex Prince Andrew for Royal Ascot," 21 June 2019 First spotted by Elle, cameras caught the Duchess giving the birthday girl a perfect curtsy and big smile. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Kate Middleton Had a Sweet Moment With the Queen at Easter Service," 21 Apr. 2019 Getty ImagesUK Press Pool Here's last year's curtsy, for comparison. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Shared a Sweet Sign of Affection at the Royal Christmas Service," 26 Dec. 2018 When the Queen was seen walking through the doors of the abbey, Meghan (in white) was seen lowering herself into a curtsy, then Kate (in red) followed. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Curtsy to the Queen in Westminster Abbey," 11 Mar. 2019 Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton showed off perfect matching curtsies on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on Saturday. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "See the Moment Meghan and Kate Perfectly Curtsy to the Queen on the Balcony of Buckingham Palace," 9 June 2018 Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton displayed perfect curtsies to the Queen during the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey today. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Curtsy to the Queen in Westminster Abbey," 11 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May will curtsy to the Queen Wednesday afternoon and resign. Washington Post, "Theresa May to step down, Boris Johnson to become U.K. prime minister, in elaborate transition of power," 24 July 2019 Ladies should ‘bob’ rather than curtsy on greeting HRH The Prince of Wales. Madeleine Schwartz, Harper's magazine, "Warm, Weird, Effervescent," 10 June 2019 Meghan and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (in dark purple) curtsied first, then Kate followed once the Queen turned to her. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Curtsy to the Queen in Westminster Abbey," 11 Mar. 2019 Once Her Majesty entered the building, Kate, Meghan, and Duchess Camilla were seen curtsying to the sovereign as a sign of respect. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Curtsy to the Queen in Westminster Abbey," 11 Mar. 2019 The New York Times reports that both the president and First Lady Melania Trump forgot to bow and curtsy when meeting Queen Elizabeth II, as is customary. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Donald Trump Reportedly Broke Royal Protocol Multiple Times When Meeting With Queen Elizabeth II," 16 July 2018 Also, at the sight of any royalties, be ready to curtsy or bow. Jessica Pan, The Cut, "The 10 Most Bizarre Royal Etiquette Rules," 17 May 2018 Once William is on the throne as King, and his wife Kate becomes Queen Consort, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be expected to bow and curtsy to them at all formal events as a sign of respect for their new titles and roles in the monarchy. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "This is When Meghan Markle Will Have to Start Curtsying to Her Close Friend, Kate Middleton," 22 Aug. 2018 Getty ImagesAnwar Hussein Collection Kate immediately curtsied to Will, which is fair since that's technically how she was supposed to greet royalty. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William and Kate Middleton's First Meeting Was Intensely Awkward," 18 Aug. 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

16 Aug 2019

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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