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court

[kawrt, kohrt]
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noun
  1. Law.
    1. a place where justice is administered.
    2. a judicial tribunal duly constituted for the hearing and determination of cases.
    3. a session of a judicial assembly.
  2. an area open to the sky and mostly or entirely surrounded by buildings, walls, etc.
  3. a high interior usually having a glass roof and surrounded by several stories of galleries or the like.
  4. Chiefly Irish. a stately dwelling.
  5. a short street.
  6. a smooth, level quadrangle on which to play tennis, basketball, etc.
  7. one of the divisions of such an area.
  8. the residence of a sovereign or other high dignitary; palace.
  9. a sovereign's or dignitary's retinue.
  10. a sovereign and councilors as the political rulers of a state.
  11. a formal assembly held by a sovereign.
  12. homage paid, as to a king.
  13. special or devoted attention in order to win favor, affection, etc.: to pay court to the king.
  14. the body of qualified members of a corporation, council, board, etc.
  15. a branch or lodge of a fraternal society.
  16. Animal Behavior.
    1. an area where animals of a particular species gather to display.
    2. the group of insects, as honeybees, surrounding the queen; retinue.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to try to win the favor, preference, or goodwill of: to court the rich.
  2. to seek the affections of; woo.
  3. (of animals) to attempt to attract (a mate) by engaging in certain species-specific behaviors.
  4. to attempt to gain (applause, favor, a decision, etc.).
  5. to hold out inducements to; invite.
  6. to act in such a manner as to cause, lead to, or provoke: to court disaster by reckless driving.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to seek another's love; woo.
  2. (of animals) to engage in certain species-specific behaviors in order to attract individuals of the opposite sex for mating.
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Idioms
  1. hold court,
    1. to have a formal assembly of a judicial tribunal or one held by a sovereign.
    2. to be surrounded by one's disciples or admirers, giving advice, exchanging gossip, receiving compliments, etc.
  2. out of court,
    1. without a legal hearing; privately: The case will be settled out of court.
    2. out of the question; undeserving of discussion: This wild scheme is entirely out of court.
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Origin of court

1125–75; Middle English co(u)rt < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin cohort- (stem of cohors) farmyard; see cohort
Related formsout·court, verb (used with object)un·court·ed, adjectiveun·court·ing, adjectivewell-court·ed, adjective
Can be confusedcaught court cot
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for courted

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her Percival courted with results that left nothing to be desired.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He found it his interest to court, and she her pleasure to be courted.

  • So young, so courted, so tempted as she must be—and with such a protector!

  • We know them, we who have courted Pomona in her fair New England orchards.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • He neither blamed, courted, nor neglected the world: he was friendly with it.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald


British Dictionary definitions for courted

court

noun
  1. an area of ground wholly or partly surrounded by walls or buildings
  2. British (capital when part of a name)
    1. a block of flatsSelwyn Court
    2. a mansion or country house
    3. a short street, sometimes closed at one end
  3. a space inside a building, sometimes surrounded with galleries
    1. the residence, retinues, or household of a sovereign or nobleman
    2. (as modifier)a court ball
  4. a sovereign or prince and his retinue, advisers, etc
  5. any formal assembly, reception, etc, held by a sovereign or nobleman with his courtiers
  6. homage, flattering attention, or amorous approaches (esp in the phrase pay court to someone)
  7. law
    1. an authority having power to adjudicate in civil, criminal, military, or ecclesiastical matters
    2. the regular sitting of such a judicial authority
    3. the room or building in which such a tribunal sits
    1. a marked outdoor or enclosed area used for any of various ball games, such as tennis, squash, etc
    2. a marked section of such an areathe service court
    1. the board of directors or council of a corporation, company, etc
    2. mainly Britishthe supreme council of some universities
  8. a branch of any of several friendly societies
  9. go to court to take legal action
  10. hold court to preside over admirers, attendants, etc
  11. out of court
    1. without a trial or legal casethe case was settled out of court
    2. too unimportant for consideration
    3. Britishso as to ridicule completely (in the phrase laugh out of court)
  12. the ball is in your court you are obliged to make the next move
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verb
  1. to attempt to gain the love of (someone); woo
  2. (tr) to pay attention to (someone) in order to gain favour
  3. (tr) to try to obtain (fame, honour, etc)
  4. (tr) to invite, usually foolishly, as by taking risksto court disaster
  5. old-fashioned to be conducting a serious emotional relationship usually leading to marriage
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Word Origin

C12: from Old French, from Latin cohors cohort

Court

noun
  1. Margaret (née Smith). born 1942, Australian tennis player, winner of a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles: Australian Open champion 1960–66, 1969–71, and 1973; US Open champion 1962, 1965, 1969–70, and 1973; Wimbledon champion 1963, 1965, and 1970; French Open champion 1962, 1965, 1969–70, and 1973
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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

Word Origin and History for courted

court

n.

late 12c., from Old French cort (11c., Modern French cour) "king's court, princely residence," from Latin cortem, accusative of cors (earlier cohors) "enclosed yard," and by extension (and perhaps by association with curia "sovereign's assembly"), "those assembled in the yard; company, cohort," from com- "together" (see com-) + stem hort- related to hortus "garden, plot of ground" (see yard (n.1)). Sporting sense is from 1510s, originally of tennis. Legal meaning is from late 13c. (early assemblies for justice were overseen by the sovereign personally).

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court

v.

"woo, offer homage," as one does at court, 1570s; see court (n.). Related: Courted; courting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with courted

court

see ball's in your court; day in court; friend in court; hold court; kangaroo court; laugh out of court; pay court to.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.