• synonyms


noun, plural curt·sies.
  1. a respectful bow made by women and girls, consisting of bending the knees and lowering the body.
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verb (used without object), curt·sied, curt·sy·ing.
  1. to make a curtsy.
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Origin of curtsy

First recorded in 1520–30; variant of courtesy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for curtsies

obeisance, bow, bob, dip, gesture, curtsey

Examples from the Web for curtsies

Historical Examples of curtsies

  • The poor creature, I warrant, was as full of curtsies, as if I had been her godmother.

    The Comedies of William Congreve

    William Congreve

  • Come along all of you, and make your best bows and curtsies.

  • She curtsies with a languishing air, as if to say, 'You are come at last.

  • Chord from the harmonium—the Child advances, and curtsies with much aplomb.

  • She curtsies to Graeme and with a warning look at Granahan goes into room.

    The Turn of the Road

    Rutherford Mayne

British Dictionary definitions for curtsies



noun plural -sies or -seys
  1. 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
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verb -sies, -sying, -sied, -seys, -seying or -seyed
  1. (intr) to make a curtsy
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Word Origin for curtsy

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

Word Origin and History for curtsies



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

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper