follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

courtesan

[kawr-tuh-zuh n, kohr-, kur-] /ˈkɔr tə zən, ˈkoʊr-, ˈkɜr-/
noun
1.
a prostitute or paramour, especially one associating with noblemen or men of wealth.
Also, courtezan.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < Middle French courtisane < Italian cortigiana, literally, woman of the court, derivative of corte court
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for courtesan
  • Besides, she was already twenty, and twenty means old age for a courtesan.
  • On the left, an uncultured yet gentle boatman helps a courtesan onto a boat to take her to an appointment.
  • Even more shocking was the frank honesty of the courtesan: her boldness-not nudity-offended.
British Dictionary definitions for courtesan

courtesan

/ˌkɔːtɪˈzæn/
noun
1.
(esp formerly) a prostitute, or the mistress of a man of rank
Word Origin
C16: from Old French courtisane, from Italian cortigiana female courtier, from cortigiano courtier, from cortecourt
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for courtesan
n.

early 15c., from Middle French courtisane, from Italian cortigiana "prostitute," literally "woman of the court," fem. of cortigiano "one attached to a court," from corte "court," from Latin cortem (see court (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for courtesan

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for courtesan

11
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with courtesan