[kur-tuh-see or for 5, kurt-see]

noun, plural cour·te·sies.


done or performed as a matter of courtesy or protocol: a courtesy call on the mayor.
offered or provided free by courtesy of the management: While waiting to board the airplane, we were provided with courtesy coffee.

Nearby words

  1. court-martial,
  2. courtelle,
  3. courteous,
  4. courteously,
  5. courtesan,
  6. courtesy car,
  7. courtesy card,
  8. courtesy light,
  9. courtesy title,
  10. courthouse

Origin of courtesy

1175–1225; Middle English curteisie < Anglo-French, Old French; see courteous, -y3

Related formso·ver·cour·te·sy, nounun·cour·te·sy, noun, plural un·cour·te·sies. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for courtesies

British Dictionary definitions for courtesies


noun plural -sies

politeness; good manners
a courteous gesture or remark
favour or consent (esp in the phrase by courtesy of)
common consent as opposed to right (esp in the phrase by courtesy)See also courtesy title
(ˈkɜːtsɪ) an archaic spelling of curtsy

Word Origin for courtesy

C13 curteisie, from Old French, from corteis courteous

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 courtesies


early 13c., curteisie, from Old French curteisie (Modern French courtoisie), from curteis "courteous" (see courteous). A specialized sense of curteisie is the source of English curtsy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper