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courtesy title

a title applied or assumed through custom, courtesy, or association and without regard for its being officially merited.
a title allowed by custom, as to the children of dukes.
Origin of courtesy title
First recorded in 1860-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for courtesy title
Historical Examples
  • It seems such a farce to give them the courtesy title of sovereignty.

    Peking Dust Ellen N. La Motte
  • I have called you my 'wife,' I know; but it has just been a courtesy title.

    The Following of the Star Florence L. Barclay
  • The pause after the courtesy title was significant, and Griswold filled it promptly.

    The Price Francis Lynde
  • At his own house, he addressed his ward by his Christian name: in the office, as managing clerk, he prefixed the courtesy title.

  • The daughters of viscounts and barons also bear the courtesy title of honourable.

  • The younger sons of earls, and both eldest and younger sons of viscounts and barons, only bear the courtesy title of honourable.

  • I don't disgrace the Duke's family name, for I've dropped it, nor any courtesy title, for I don't use any.

  • The courtesy title was bestowed upon him by the State Legislature in recognition of his great services to that body.

  • Mr. Severance—the courtesy title at least is due him—seems to be a man with quite a number of costly possessions.

    Young People's Pride Stephen Vincent Benet
  • Just as the eldest son of a Duke bears a "courtesy title," so does the eldest son of a Marquis.

    Book of Etiquette, Volume 2 Lillian Eichler Watson
British Dictionary definitions for courtesy title

courtesy title

any of several titles having no legal significance, such as those borne by the children of peers
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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