courteous

[kur-tee-uhs]

adjective

having or showing good manners; polite.

Origin of courteous

1225–75; court + -eous; replacing Middle English co(u)rteis < Anglo-French; see court, -ese
Related formscour·te·ous·ly, adverbcour·te·ous·ness, nouno·ver·cour·te·ous, adjectiveo·ver·cour·te·ous·ly, adverbo·ver·cour·te·ous·ness, nounpseu·do·cour·te·ous, adjectivepseu·do·cour·te·ous·ly, adverbqua·si-cour·te·ous, adjectivequa·si-cour·te·ous·ly, adverb

Synonyms for courteous

Synonym study

See civil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for courteous

courteous

adjective

polite and considerate in manner
Derived Formscourteously, adverbcourteousness, noun

Word Origin for courteous

C13 corteis, literally: with courtly manners, from Old French; see 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

Word Origin and History for courteous
adj.

mid-14c., earlier curteis (c.1300), from Old French curteis (Modern French courtois) "having courtly bearing or manners," from curt "court" (see court (n.)) + -eis, from Latin -ensis.

Rare before c.1500. In feudal society, also denoting a man of good education (hence the name Curtis). Medieval courts were associated with good behavior and also beauty; e.g. German hübsch "beautiful," from Middle High German hübesch "beautiful," originally "courteous, well-bred," from Old Franconian hofesch, from hof "court." Related: Courteously (mid-14c., kurteis-liche).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper