9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kur-tee-uh s] /ˈkɜr ti əs/
having or showing good manners; polite.
Origin of courteous
1225-75; court + -eous; replacing Middle English co(u)rteis < Anglo-French; see court, -ese
Related forms
courteously, adverb
courteousness, noun
overcourteous, adjective
overcourteously, adverb
overcourteousness, noun
pseudocourteous, adjective
pseudocourteously, adverb
quasi-courteous, adjective
quasi-courteously, adverb
mannerly, gracious, courtly. See civil. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for courteous
  • Have a good day and please try to be more courteous in your exchanges.
  • He answered my questions in a courteous fashion, but his tone was matter-of-fact and he did not elaborate on any of his answers.
  • Please, search committee folks, strive for a more courteous selection process this job season.
  • It said thanks for the opportunity to talk and for one particular wrinkle to the interview that was courteous, in my opinion.
  • It's time to exhibit courteous, professional behavior to your current instructors.
  • His voice is soft, and his manner is unfailingly courteous, as he sits with one leg tucked under the other.
  • For all the self-conscious spectacle, the staff is highly skilled and courteous, if precocious.
  • And the courteous thing for him to do would be to take it down.
  • Suppose that one advocate is obnoxious and angry while the other advocate is courteous and calm.
  • From my perspective it seems to be bending backwards to be respectful and courteous and to avoid even the hint of offence.
British Dictionary definitions for courteous


polite and considerate in manner
Derived Forms
courteously, adverb
courteousness, noun
Word Origin
C13 corteis, literally: with courtly manners, from Old French; see court
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 courteous

mid-14c., earlier curteis (c.1300), from Old French curteis (Modern French courtois) "having courtly bearing or manners," from curt "court" (see court (n.)) + -eis, from Latin -ensis.

Rare before c.1500. In feudal society, also denoting a man of good education (hence the name Curtis). Medieval courts were associated with good behavior and also beauty; e.g. German hübsch "beautiful," from Middle High German hübesch "beautiful," originally "courteous, well-bred," from Old Franconian hofesch, from hof "court." Related: Courteously (mid-14c., kurteis-liche).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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