couth

1
[ kooth ]
/ kuθ /
Facetious.

adjective

showing or having good manners or sophistication; smooth: Sending her flowers would be a very couth thing to do.

noun

good manners; refinement: to be lacking in couth.

Nearby words

  1. cousy,
  2. cousy, bob,
  3. couta,
  4. couteau,
  5. couter,
  6. couthie,
  7. coutil,
  8. couture,
  9. couturier,
  10. couturière

Origin of couth

1
First recorded in 1895–1900; back formation from uncouth

couth

2
[ kooth ]
/ kuθ /

adjective Archaic.

known or acquainted with.

Origin of couth

2
before 1000; Middle English, Old English cūth past participle of cunnan to know1 (see can2, could)

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Examples from the Web for couth



British Dictionary definitions for couth

couth

/ (kuːθ) /

adjective

facetious refined
archaic familiar; known

Word Origin for couth

Old English cūth known, past participle of cunnan to know; sense 1, back formation from uncouth

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 couth

couth

adj.

Old English cuðe "known," past participle of cunnan (see can (v.1)), from Proto-Germanic *kunthaz (cf. Old Frisian kuth "known," Old Saxon cuth, Old High German kund, German kund, Gothic kunþs "known").

Died out as such 16c. with the emergence of could, but the old word was reborn 1896, with a new sense of "cultured, refined," as a back-formation from uncouth (q.v.). The Old English word forms the first element in the man's proper name Cuthbert, literally "famous-bright."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper