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[kurt-see] /ˈkɜrt si/
noun, plural curtsies.
a respectful bow made by women and girls, consisting of bending the knees and lowering the body.
verb (used without object), curtsied, curtsying.
to make a curtsy.
Origin of curtsy
1520-30; variant of courtesy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for curtsy
  • They curtsy when they meet you and are some of the nicest kids you'll ever meet.
  • The effect is almost dainty, the musical equivalent of a curtsy.
  • It is not a contradance in which partners smile and curtsy and move seamlessly down the line.
British Dictionary definitions for curtsy


noun (pl) -sies, -seys
a formal gesture of greeting and respect made by women in which the knees are bent, the head slightly bowed, and the skirt held outwards
verb -sies, -sying, -sied, -seys, -seying, -seyed
(intransitive) to make a curtsy
Word Origin
C16: variant of courtesy
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 curtsy

1540s, "expression of respect," a variant of courtesy (q.v.). Specific meaning "a bending the knee and lowering the body as a gesture of respect" is from 1570s. Originally not exclusively feminine.


1550s, from curtsy (n.). Related: Curtsied; curtsying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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