9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kur-tuh-see or for 5, kurt-see] /ˈkɜr tə si or for 5, ˈkɜrt si/
noun, plural courtesies.
excellence of manners or social conduct; polite behavior.
a courteous, respectful, or considerate act or expression.
indulgence, consent, or acquiescence:
a “colonel” by courtesy rather than by right.
favor, help, or generosity:
The costumes for the play were by courtesy of the local department store.
a curtsy.
done or performed as a matter of courtesy or protocol:
a courtesy call on the mayor.
offered or provided free by courtesy of the management:
While waiting to board the airplane, we were provided with courtesy coffee.
Origin of courtesy
1175-1225; Middle English curteisie < Anglo-French, Old French; see courteous, -y3
Related forms
overcourtesy, noun
uncourtesy, noun, plural uncourtesies.
1. courteousness, civility, urbanity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for courtesies
  • The pages are also filled with important characters in the history of courtesies.
  • And courtesies to the regiments, the guidons moving by.
  • They are more forward and more profuse in their courtesies.
  • After the ordinary greetings and courtesies he sat down and listened.
  • So, although the courtesies were observed this week, fresh tensions between the two office-holders are on the cards.
  • The two friends' courtesies were salt in the far right's sores.
  • Furthermore, these friendly relationships that he was so ready to establish did not always end with social courtesies.
  • And so the film is left to the devices of its leads, who dispense with courtesies and slug it out with loaded principles.
  • It is sadly not productive to engage with people who do not honor the basic courtesies of discussion.
  • These small courtesies will give you an upbeat feeling which will help you as you continue your walk down the street.
British Dictionary definitions for courtesies


noun (pl) -sies
politeness; good manners
a courteous gesture or remark
favour or consent (esp in the phrase by courtesy of)
common consent as opposed to right (esp in the phrase by courtesy) See also courtesy title
(ˈkɜːtsɪ) an archaic spelling of curtsy
Word Origin
C13 curteisie, from Old French, from corteiscourteous
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 courtesies


early 13c., curteisie, from Old French curteisie (Modern French courtoisie), from curteis "courteous" (see courteous). A specialized sense of curteisie is the source of English curtsy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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