noun, plural curt·sies.

a respectful bow made by women and girls, consisting of bending the knees and lowering the body.

verb (used without object), curt·sied, curt·sy·ing.

to make a curtsy.

Origin of curtsy

First recorded in 1520–30; variant of courtesy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for curtsy

obeisance, bow, bob, dip, gesture, curtsey

Examples from the Web for curtsy

Historical Examples of curtsy

British Dictionary definitions for curtsy



noun plural -sies or -seys

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

verb -sies, -sying, -sied, -seys, -seying or -seyed

(intr) to make a curtsy

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 curtsy

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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper