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[kawrt-lee, kohrt-] /ˈkɔrt li, ˈkoʊrt-/
adjective, courtlier, courtliest.
polite, refined, or elegant:
courtly manners.
flattering; obsequious.
noting, pertaining to, or suitable for the court of a sovereign.
in a courtly manner; politely or flatteringly.
Origin of courtly
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; see court, -ly
Related forms
courtliness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for courtliness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He emanated a soothing aura of charm, culture, and courtliness.

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda
  • Sir Terence was the very quintessence of courtliness, of concern for the other.

    The Snare Rafael Sabatini
  • So great was the steadiness of the chief of the sages, and such the courtliness of Æsop.'

  • For never was her peer found for beauty, disposition, and courtliness.'

  • So to set an example of courtliness and humility, he sat among the lowest.

  • He could flatter the young by his courtliness and amuse the old by his repartee.

    The Bishop's Apron W. Somerset Maugham
  • To Andre-Louis the Marquis inclined his head with that mixture of courtliness and condescension which he used.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • He took her to have an ice, and she observed with pleasure the courtliness with which he used her.

    The Bishop's Apron W. Somerset Maugham
  • Somewhat wearily, but with all courtliness of manner, he had her shown into his consultation room.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
British Dictionary definitions for courtliness


adjective -lier, -liest
of or suitable for a royal court
refined in manner
Derived Forms
courtliness, noun
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 courtliness



mid-15c., "having manners befitting a court," from court (n.) + -ly (1). Meaning "pertaining to the court" is from late 15c. Courtly love "highly conventionalized medieval chivalric love" (amour courtois) is attested from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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