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[kawrt-ship, kohrt-] /ˈkɔrt ʃɪp, ˈkoʊrt-/
the wooing of one person by another.
the period during which such wooing takes place.
solicitation of favors, applause, etc.
Ethology. behavior in animals that occurs before and during mating, often including elaborate displays.
Obsolete. courtly behavior; courtesy; gallantry.
Origin of courtship
1580-90; court + -ship Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for courtship
  • The couple's courtship followed a common course among members of their generation.
  • Researching and writing your dissertation is, in effect, the courtship period of your professional.
  • Belmont will appear this morning to tell her story of the hasty courtship and wedding.
  • When it comes to courtship and mating, it's all a matter of biology, the experts say.
  • The courtship was quick and the relationship was more than anyone could imagine it would be.
  • In this subtle courtship scene, the symbolic implications of the apple emerge.
  • To our knowledge, no one has ever recorded courtship behavior in honey badgers.
  • Images of human-machine courtship are omnipresent in pop culture.
  • They follow him home, and they perform a variety of courtship rituals.
  • The pathos of disappointment was countered by a sense of the comedy of courtship.
British Dictionary definitions for courtship


the act, period, or art of seeking the love of someone with intent to marry
the seeking or soliciting of favours
(obsolete) courtly behaviour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for courtship

1570s, "behavior of a courtier," from court (n.) + -ship. Meaning "paying court to a woman with intention of marriage" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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