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[kawr-tee-er, kohr-] /ˈkɔr ti ər, ˈkoʊr-/
a person who is often in attendance at the court of a king or other royal personage.
a person who seeks favor by flattery, charm, etc.
Origin of courtier
1250-1300; Middle English courteour < Anglo-French courte(i)our, equivalent to Old French cortoy(er) to attend at court (derivative of court court) + Anglo-French -our < Latin -ōr- -or2; suffix later conformed to -ier1
Related forms
undercourtier, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for courtiers
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When she saw him, Nick, she had kissed her hand to him over the heads of the courtiers.

    The Tragic Muse Henry James
  • At last one of the courtiers spied a large garden not far off.

  • The courtiers assembled round him; and as it happens in the story-book, the King now performed his part of ultimate adjudicator.

  • He sent his courtiers after her to bring her back to the castle.

    Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester
  • The courtiers of Constantius laughed at the new Csar, and certainly the appointment did not give any fair promise of success.

    Sermons J. B. Lightfoot
British Dictionary definitions for courtiers


an attendant at a court
a person who seeks favour in an ingratiating manner
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-French courteour (unattested), from Old French corteier to attend at 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 courtiers



early 13c., from Anglo-French *corteour, from Old French cortoiier "to be at court, live at court" (see court (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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