dis·​cour·​te·​sy | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈkər-tə-sē How to pronounce discourtesy (audio) \

Definition of discourtesy

1 : rudeness
2 : a rude act

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Examples of discourtesy in a Sentence

His tardiness was just another in a series of small discourtesies. the courtiers shuddered at the discourtesy shown to the king

Recent Examples on the Web

Casual discourtesy of this sort has been a staple of the European chattering classes since pre-Revolutionary days. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, "My American Dream," 4 July 2019 The black truncheon attached to their ears became hitched to its associated discourtesy. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Apple's Airpods Are an Omen," 12 June 2018 And the discourtesy involved in trying to override his management of the conversation is too much when dealing with the president of the United States. Bryan Marquard, BostonGlobe.com, "Francis M. Bator, at 92; economic adviser to LBJ had taught at Harvard Kennedy School," 22 Mar. 2018 Their double-digit discourtesies were sophomoric in tone but historic in nature: The middle finger predates the Middle Ages. Erik Brady, USA TODAY, "Middle finger often in the middle of sports controversy," 26 Oct. 2017 No malicious gossip, discourtesy, backstabbing, passive aggression — none of that garbage. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Workers with little autonomy have little love for their jobs," 20 Oct. 2017 School Superintendent Timothy Connellan said the class was an activist, compassionate and smart group who can help turn the tide of negativity and discourtesy prevalent in society. Bill Leukhardt, courant.com, "Teen Killed In 2015 Crash Remembered At Southington High School Graduation," 20 June 2017 A total of 89 of the complaints were for use of force, 15 of them were for abuse of authority, 17 for offensive language and 87 for discourtesy. Michael Harriot, The Root, "99 Percent of Students Handcuffed in NYC Schools Were Black or Hispanic: Report," 10 May 2017 Casual discourtesy of this sort has been a staple of the European chattering classes since pre-Revolutionary days. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, "My American Dream," 4 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discourtesy.' 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 discourtesy

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for discourtesy

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for discourtesy

The first known use of discourtesy was in 1555

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More Definitions for discourtesy



English Language Learners Definition of discourtesy

: rude or impolite behavior
: a rude act


dis·​cour·​te·​sy | \ dis-ˈkər-tə-sē How to pronounce discourtesy (audio) \
plural discourtesies

Kids Definition of discourtesy

1 : rude behavior She forgave his discourtesy.
2 : a rude act

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More from Merriam-Webster on discourtesy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discourtesy

Spanish Central: Translation of discourtesy

Nglish: Translation of discourtesy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on discourtesy

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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