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 courtesy
  • In the year ahead, courtesy of the fiscal crisis in many countries across the rich world, that rethink will at last begin.
  • Also on the agenda was the significance of group harmony, collectivism and courtesy.
  • The prime minister's office claimed that it was normal diplomatic courtesy to accept such hospitality.
  • Growth courtesy of a consumer boom is better than no growth at all or recession.
  • His courtesy was instinctive, his thank-you notes reliably there the next day.
  • And-no matter how much you may disagree with them-please treat your fellow readers with courtesy.
  • The answers that seem to work generally start out with courtesy.
  • courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.
  • Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when the courtesy of it is so fearful.
  • Awkward he may have been, but the essence of him was courtesy-unfailing courtesy.
British Dictionary definitions for courtesy


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 courtesy

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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