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[kurt-see] /ˈkɜrt si/
noun, plural curtsies.
a respectful bow made by women and girls, consisting of bending the knees and lowering the body.
verb (used without object), curtsied, curtsying.
to make a curtsy.
Origin of curtsy
First recorded in 1520-30; variant of courtesy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for curtsied
Historical Examples
  • She curtsied low, and put her hand under mine and raised my hand and kissed it.

    The Prisoner of Zenda Anthony Hope
  • Genevive curtsied with a puzzled air and a sidelong glance at her sister.

    The Suitors of Yvonne Raphael Sabatini
  • He bowed again; and again he bore her fingers to his lips, what time she curtsied.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • Is your chilling salute when we met—I half believe you curtsied—nothing?

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • Miss Milner curtsied, as much as to say, he was welcome to come.

    A Simple Story Mrs. Inchbald
  • She curtsied assent, and flew to tell Matilda what had occurred.

    A Simple Story Mrs. Inchbald
  • So saying, she curtsied and left me, overcome with surprise.

    Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon
  • She curtsied once more, as well as she could since he was firmly holding her hands.

    The Explorer W. Somerset Maugham
  • Nor did the latter, having risen and curtsied, know what to do.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • The Snowdrop curtsied, and stepped aside to make room for the Violet.

British Dictionary definitions for curtsied


noun (pl) -sies, -seys
a formal gesture of greeting and respect made by women in which the knees are bent, the head slightly bowed, and the skirt held outwards
verb -sies, -sying, -sied, -seys, -seying, -seyed
(intransitive) to make a curtsy
Word Origin
C16: variant of courtesy
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 curtsied



1550s, from curtsy (n.). Related: Curtsied; curtsying.



1540s, "expression of respect," a variant of courtesy (q.v.). Specific meaning "a bending the knee and lowering the body as a gesture of respect" is from 1570s. Originally not exclusively feminine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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