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courtly

[kawrt-lee, kohrt-] /ˈkɔrt li, ˈkoʊrt-/
adjective, courtlier, courtliest.
1.
polite, refined, or elegant:
courtly manners.
2.
flattering; obsequious.
3.
noting, pertaining to, or suitable for the court of a sovereign.
adverb
4.
in a courtly manner; politely or flatteringly.
Origin of courtly
late Middle English
1400-1450
late Middle English word dating back to 1400-50; See origin at court, -ly
Related forms
courtliness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for courtly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A queen in the magnificence of her courtly surroundings could not have conquered him so quickly.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • Casanova signified his refusal with an exaggerated but courtly gesture.

    Casanova's Homecoming Arthur Schnitzler
  • Mr Dorrit welcomed the visitor with the highest urbanity, and most courtly manners.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Monseigneur received him in a courtly manner, but they did not shake hands.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • Mrs Varden called up quite a courtly air, and became seated.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for courtly

courtly

/ˈkɔːtlɪ/
adjective -lier, -liest
1.
of or suitable for a royal court
2.
refined in manner
3.
ingratiating
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 courtly
adj.

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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