[ kawrt, kohrt ]
/ kɔrt, koʊrt /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to seek another's love; woo.
(of animals) to engage in certain species-specific behaviors in order to attract individuals of the opposite sex for mating.

Nearby words

  1. courser,
  2. courses,
  3. courseware,
  4. coursework,
  5. coursing,
  6. court card,
  7. court christian,
  8. court circular,
  9. court cupboard,
  10. court dance


    hold court,
    1. to have a formal assembly of a judicial tribunal or one held by a sovereign.
    2. to be surrounded by one's disciples or admirers, giving advice, exchanging gossip, receiving compliments, etc.
    out of court,
    1. without a legal hearing; privately: The case will be settled out of court.
    2. out of the question; undeserving of discussion: This wild scheme is entirely out of court.

Origin of court

1125–75; Middle English co(u)rt < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin cohort- (stem of cohors) farmyard; see cohort

Related formsout·court, verb (used with object)un·court·ed, adjectiveun·court·ing, adjectivewell-court·ed, adjective

Can be confusedcaught court cot Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hold court


/ (kɔːt) /



Word Origin for court

C12: from Old French, from Latin cohors cohort


/ (kɔːt) /


Margaret (née Smith). born 1942, Australian tennis player, winner of a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles: Australian Open champion 1960–66, 1969–71, and 1973; US Open champion 1962, 1965, 1969–70, and 1973; Wimbledon champion 1963, 1965, and 1970; French Open champion 1962, 1965, 1969–70, and 1973
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 hold court
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hold court

hold court

Be surrounded by and command the attention of admirers, subordinates, or hangers-on. For example, After a match Judy generally held court in the locker room. This expression alludes to royalty convening courtiers as well as a judge convening a court of law.


see ball's in your court; day in court; friend in court; hold court; kangaroo court; laugh out of court; pay court to.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.