- a place where justice is administered.
- a judicial tribunal duly constituted for the hearing and determination of cases.
- a session of a judicial assembly.
- an area where animals of a particular species gather to display.
- the group of insects, as honeybees, surrounding the queen; retinue.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- court card,
- court christian,
- court circular,
- court cupboard,
- court dance
- to have a formal assembly of a judicial tribunal or one held by a sovereign.
- to be surrounded by one's disciples or admirers, giving advice, exchanging gossip, receiving compliments, etc.
- without a legal hearing; privately: The case will be settled out of court.
- out of the question; undeserving of discussion: This wild scheme is entirely out of court.
Origin of court
- a block of flatsSelwyn Court
- a mansion or country house
- a short street, sometimes closed at one end
- the residence, retinues, or household of a sovereign or nobleman
- (as modifier)a court ball
- an authority having power to adjudicate in civil, criminal, military, or ecclesiastical matters
- the regular sitting of such a judicial authority
- the room or building in which such a tribunal sits
- a marked outdoor or enclosed area used for any of various ball games, such as tennis, squash, etc
- a marked section of such an areathe service court
- the board of directors or council of a corporation, company, etc
- mainly British the supreme council of some universities
- without a trial or legal casethe case was settled out of court
- too unimportant for consideration
- British so as to ridicule completely (in the phrase laugh out of court)
Word Origin for court
late 12c., from Old French cort (11c., Modern French cour) "king's court, princely residence," from Latin cortem, accusative of cors (earlier cohors) "enclosed yard," and by extension (and perhaps by association with curia "sovereign's assembly"), "those assembled in the yard; company, cohort," from com- "together" (see com-) + stem hort- related to hortus "garden, plot of ground" (see yard (n.1)). Sporting sense is from 1510s, originally of tennis. Legal meaning is from late 13c. (early assemblies for justice were overseen by the sovereign personally).
"woo, offer homage," as one does at court, 1570s; see court (n.). Related: Courted; courting.
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.