English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English curteisie, curtesie, from Anglo-Norman curtesie, from Old French curteisie, cortoisie.[1][2] Equivalent to courteous +‎ -y (abstract noun suffix).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

courtesy (countable and uncountable, plural courtesies)

  1. (uncountable) Polite behavior.
    Please extend them the courtesy of your presence.
    He was always known for his grace, kindness, and courtesy to people of every rank.
  2. (countable) A polite gesture or remark, especially as opposed to an obligation or standard practice.
    I offered them a ride simply as a courtesy.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
      My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you.
    • 1960, John Updike, 'Rabbit, Run', page 108:
      Rabbit doesn't want to tell him anything. The more he tells, the more he loses. He's safe inside his own skin, he doesn't want to come out. This guy's whole game is to get him out into the open where he can be manipulated. But the fierce convention of courtesy pries open Rabbit's lips.
  3. (uncountable) Consent or agreement in spite of fact; indulgence.
    They call this pond a lake by courtesy only.
  4. (uncountable) Willingness or generosity in providing something needed.
    They received free advertising through the courtesy of the local newspaper.
    [on a label, caption, etc.] Courtesy the Smith Foundation: [e.g.] use of this image was allowed through the courtesy of the Smith Foundation.
  5. A curtsey.
    • 1760, Oliver Goldsmith, The Citizen of the World:
      The lady drops a courtesy in token of obedience, and the ceremony proceeds as usual.
    • 1868–1869, Louisa M[ay] Alcott, “Amy’s Will”, in Little Women: [], (please specify |part=1 or 2), Boston, Mass.: Roberts Brothers, →OCLC, page 284:
      [I]t was her favorite amusement to array herself in the faded brocades, and parade up and down before the long mirror, making stately courtesies, and sweeping her train about, with a rustle which delighted her ears.
  6. (law) The life interest that the surviving husband has in the real or heritable estate of his wife.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Verb edit

courtesy (third-person singular simple present courtesies, present participle courtesying, simple past and past participle courtesied)

  1. Alternative form of curtsey

Adjective edit

courtesy (not comparable) (used only before the noun)

  1. Given or done as a polite gesture.
    We paid a courtesy visit to the new neighbors.
  2. Supplied free of charge.
    Synonyms: complimentary, free of charge, gratis
    The event planners offered courtesy tickets for the reporters.

Translations edit

References edit

Anagrams edit