Definition of courteous in English:



  • Polite, respectful, or considerate in manner.

    ‘she was courteous and obliging to all’
    ‘a courteous young man’
    • ‘Remember to curtsey or bow, and be polite and courteous to everyone.’
    • ‘Women never say thank you when you are courteous and polite, only if you comment on their appearance.’
    • ‘One should not be arrogant or insolent but rather be kind, considerate and courteous towards them.’
    • ‘That will depend to a large extent on how courteous and considerate motorists are.’
    • ‘Your courteous manner generates a lot of goodwill and will also earn you respect.’
    • ‘Pleasant, courteous and gracious, Noreen was devoted to her family and friends.’
    • ‘A pleasant and courteous gentleman, he was highly regarded as a neighbour and friend.’
    • ‘Sean was a pleasant, courteous and gracious neighbour who could always be relied on to lend a helping hand.’
    • ‘They were respectful and courteous and asked my father's permission to speak to him alone.’
    • ‘Ernest was an old fashioned sort, well mannered and courteous, quietly spoken, and above all a gentleman.’
    • ‘A polite, courteous, almost lavender man, he seems the model of bourgeois propriety.’
    • ‘But shop assistants insisted the star was polite and courteous throughout her visit.’
    • ‘I remember being struck, the few times I met him, by how courteous his manner was.’
    • ‘Tom was a pleasant courteous gentleman who was well liked in the local farming community.’
    • ‘Andrew was a very gentle, courteous man with huge respect for everyone he worked with.’
    • ‘But you can at least be polite, courteous and respect the fact that your views are very different to theirs.’
    • ‘I made the short walk to my booth number, and was greeted by two courteous and polite women.’
    • ‘Walking someone to the door will once again be considered a courteous gesture.’
    • ‘You need each other, so be courteous and considerate, as you would ask them to be to you.’
    • ‘More people were coming inside and Sarah was polite and courteous to every one of them.’
    polite, well mannered, civil, respectful, deferential, well behaved, well bred
    gentlemanly, chivalrous, gallant
    ladylike, genteel
    cultivated, gracious, obliging, kind, considerate, pleasant, cordial, genial, affable, thoughtful, urbane, well brought up, well spoken
    formal, proper, polished, refined, decorous, courtly, civilized, tactful, discreet, diplomatic
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Middle English (meaning ‘having manners fit for a royal court’): from Old French corteis, based on Latin cohors yard, retinue (see court). The change in the ending in the 16th century was due to association with words ending in -eous.