Definition of courtier in English:



  • A person who attends a royal court as a companion or adviser to the king or queen.

    • ‘The courtier and the king stood nearby watching the princess.’
    • ‘She looks like a queen waiting for a courtier to arrive.’
    • ‘My life would be pomp and circumstance, and my friends would be courtiers and other royals.’
    • ‘To be a courtier, a royal familiaris, was to be a man who might be at any time singled out to levy a tax, to govern a shire, to lead a campaign, even to kill the archbishop of Canterbury.’
    • ‘This cuts out the public, to be sure, but resembles the courtiers in any royal government.’
    • ‘Royal chairs were built to be so lightweight that they could easily be moved to the side for the more important choreography of courtiers and king.’
    • ‘Thomas Lord Darcy, a courtier and companion of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, built the house to fit his status as friend of the most powerful man after the King.’
    • ‘They were also outsiders in royal courts where courtiers did everything possible to sideline and ostracise them.’
    • ‘His sympathizers and opponents were other cognoscenti: learned monks, bishops, courtiers, and kings.’
    • ‘The four knights were immediately recognised as royal courtiers and ushered into the Archbishop's private chambers.’
    • ‘It consisted of dancing, speech, and song brought together in an allegorical ‘device’ in honour of the king or a prominent courtier.’
    • ‘Why should a depiction of a distant queen and her courtiers have been thought suitable for the decoration on a snuff bottle?’
    • ‘Like the king's courtiers, the princesses had to leave a room walking backward in the king's presence.’
    • ‘James II's queen and courtiers took profits from the sale of those transported to the West Indies.’
    • ‘Deeming it expedient to move away, he became steward in the household of Sir Thomas Arundel, one of the king's courtiers.’
    • ‘But the advisers, courtiers, and generals that surround the throne are at a loss to determine what it means, much less what to do about it.’
    • ‘Some of those allegedly cheated are said to be close friends of Prince Albert - and two royal courtiers were among Fogwell's employees.’
    • ‘She sat back, spine straight, relaxed like a queen receiving courtiers.’
    • ‘This lifestyle demanded that everything should be portable: the belongings of king and courtiers had therefore to be easily dismantled, packed and carried.’
    • ‘Payments were made instead to courtiers to influence the queen's choice.’
    attendant, retainer, companion, adviser, aide, henchman, follower
    lady-in-waiting, lady of the bedchamber
    cup-bearer, steward, train-bearer
    lord, lady, noble, equerry, page, squire
    View synonyms


Middle English: via Anglo-Norman French from Old French cortoyer be present at court, from cort (see court).