Definition of courtship in English:

courtship

noun

  • 1A period during which a couple develop a romantic relationship before getting married.

    ‘he married his wife after a whirlwind courtship’
    • ‘And I believe in short engagements and short courtships because I just got married in the summer to a wonderful man.’
    • ‘Otherwise, Elizabeth's courtships were a pretence: they provided the pretexts for straightforwardly diplomatic negotiations.’
    • ‘Why should women have been so eager to prevent their courtships from becoming common knowledge while men adopted the opposite attitude?’
    • ‘As competition increased, so did the cost of success: courtships not only took longer, but the time spent ‘mate-guarding’ also increased.’
    • ‘The women who read the celebrity rags fantasize about fabulous courtships, fairy tale weddings, romantic honeymoons, and the everlasting bonding of parenting.’
    • ‘Fournier has identified a total of 15 types of consumer/brand relationships, from marriages of convenience and casual friends to courtships, flings and secret affairs.’
    • ‘Much Ado About Nothing portrays the return from war of Don Pedro and his men and the subsequent courtships, flirtations, practical joking and witty conversations.’
    • ‘But this explanation overlooks the important fact that many young women preferred to conceal their courtships as much as possible.’
    • ‘Highly romantic courtships don't guarantee living happily ever after, but they are associated with a longer road to divorce.’
    • ‘Popular and familiar love songs underscore every bumbling error or ill-conceived machination of the lovers' various courtships.’
    • ‘The final task to be accomplished in the case of successful courtships was a smooth reversal of women's previous steadfast refusals to confide their feelings or commit their hands.’
    • ‘In fact, he actually preferred to come here when he needed inspiration for his poetry or to work out the kinks in the courtships he was helping along.’
    • ‘Romantic rhetoric helped conceal the impact of eighteenth-century courtships on economic and community status; thus were love and power intimately intertwined.’
    • ‘They sometimes unwisely expose themselves to the dangers of long courtships, waiting, for example, to complete graduate school.’
    • ‘The brief courtships I held in virile adolescence ended in either tragedy of my own doing or forced adieu; both similar to the other, really.’
    • ‘Children were illegitimate for any number of reasons, including rapes, seductions, adultery, failed courtships, and long-term cohabitation.’
    • ‘Among the most popular traditional folk songs were those that told stories of settlers, voyageurs, or kings, and courtships between maidens and young men.’
    • ‘I know it is an ‘old-fashioned’ concept these days, but long courtships gave both parties the time to really assess the other.’
    • ‘There is room also for consideration of the implications of the arguably more opportunistic courtships of the poor revealed by the evidence of illegitimacy cases.’
    romance, affair, love affair, going out, going steady, dating, engagement, keeping company
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun Behaviour designed to persuade someone to marry or develop a romantic relationship with one.
      ‘his courtship of Emma was idyllically happy’
      • ‘In one, a man taking a woman out on a first date skips courtship and immediately proposes marriage, the sources said.’
      • ‘Men's courtship attempts were described by comparison to just about every other public bid for power men engaged in.’
      • ‘Strict rules governed young women's courtship behavior because of the possibility of pregnancy and the importance of a prudent choice.’
      • ‘And so the fraternal allegory is ‘forgotten’ through a segue to heterosexual courtship and marriage.’
      • ‘Patching together diverse pieces of information, some traits of traditions of courtship and marriage in rural areas can be sketched.’
      • ‘Participants who called more different boys or made more total calls to boys during adolescence were considered to have engaged in more early courtship behavior.’
      • ‘His cure also establishes a different gender hierarchy, in that it prompts the couple to move from courtship to marriage.’
      • ‘The rules of courtship don't apply to you, and so your behavior is confusing and unpredictable.’
      • ‘For the mass of the population it did imply a departure from established patterns of marriage and courtship.’
      • ‘In this study early courtship behavior, as measured by telephone calling patterns, emerged as a significant variable.’
      • ‘Although young people may initiate courtship, marriage is often arranged by the family, with older siblings or extended family members suggesting possible mates.’
      • ‘For example, one among the things which distinguishes contemporary Western society from, say, Indian society is the markedly different set of practices followed in courtship and marriage.’
      • ‘In The Taming Of The Shrew, courtship and marriage are not so much the result of love but rather an institution of society that people are expected to take part in.’
      • ‘An American psychologist once conducted a survey on more than 500 married couples to find out the correlations between the duration of courtship and marriage satisfaction.’
      • ‘So, too, men and women seem to be different, at least when it comes to courtship behavior.’
      • ‘The movie focuses on the troubled courtship and marriage of Plath and the poet Ted Hughes.’
      • ‘Only an initiated man is ready to withstand the dangers of courtship and marriage.’
      • ‘Real courtship is about persuasion, not marketing, and the techniques of the laboratory cannot help us translate the motivations of the heart.’
      • ‘Within the Zulu Kingdom in the late 1800s, an elaborate system of bead language was used, mainly to communicate messages about courtship in love tokens.’
      • ‘The resulting interviews document the women's experiences of wartime deprivation, courtship and marriage, immigration, and adaptation to American life.’
      • ‘They hope to make their extraordinary acts of romantic courtship a moment indelibly imprinted on the minds of their lovers.’
      • ‘Very nearly the first hundred pages are devoted to her parentage, schooling, courtship and marriage.’
      • ‘Enter the romantic plot of heterosexual courtship and marriage, which deploys its forward-looking, more inclusive and reproductive vision via a traffic in women.’
      • ‘Love, courtship, marriage, the existence of children, her husband's illness and death, are stated unemotionally.’
      • ‘Among many good scenes in the book, Russel's courtship of his college sweetheart, a portrait of a nerd falling in love, is particularly well done.’
      • ‘Freund identifies rape as a ‘courtship disorder,’ that is, an anomalous performance of courtship behavior.’
      • ‘I believe that the biblical design would be friendship, courtship and then marriage.’
      • ‘Instead of organizing around fictional engagements with historically verifiable events, most Irish national tales center around courtship and marriage.’
      • ‘Clearly, the old pattern - courtship, followed by marriage, followed by children, and then tranquil bliss - is not working for millions of people.’
      • ‘The novel is a modern day romance novel that takes us through courtship, marriage, and its aftermath.’
      wooing, courting, suit, pursuit, attentions, advances, blandishments
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2mass noun The behaviour of male birds and other animals aimed at attracting a mate.
      • ‘Nuptial gifts provided by males during courtship or mating can influence female mating preference.’
      • ‘What looks like a brown bear brawl is actually some rather rambunctious courtship behavior, say the authors, whose photographs frequently appear in these pages.’
      • ‘He was one of the first to film courtship behavior of Sandhill Cranes, Spruce Grouse, and Greater-Prairie Chickens.’
      • ‘But the courtship behaviors and rituals documented are a boon to science.’
      • ‘In some species, males have courtship displays which may involve feather fluffing, holding the wings out, shaking them, and raising the tail feathers.’
      • ‘Male courtship displays and bright coloration are usually assumed to provide information to females about some aspect of the male's value as a mate.’
      • ‘Brown trout embryos were sampled from wild redds after using a VHR camera to observe and record the courtship behavior of adults in selected areas of the River Sella.’
      • ‘Apart from the lost paternity, other males may also decrease mating success by disrupted courtship or female avoidance.’
      • ‘This may be due to the cheetah's prolonged courtship behavior, which requires extensive territory.’
      • ‘During courtship, the male displays for the female by scraping a nest and bowing next to the female while flashing the white on his tail.’
      • ‘There was no adult male in sight, because the female assumes all the duties of nesting; the male's reproductive role begins with courtship and ends with mating.’
      • ‘Male courtship display includes extending the dorsal fin, pursuing, and eventually biting the female.’
      • ‘In arena trials, females that were exercised to exhaustion before courtship mated with smaller males than did control females.’
      • ‘During courtship, males sing to defend their territories and attract mates.’
      • ‘A number of mutants showing abnormalities in courtship behavior have been identified, many of which show reduced levels of courtship behavior.’
      • ‘During the breeding season, groups of males do their courtship display together, puffing out air sacs in their chest and spreading their tails.’
      • ‘Scientists think the courtship behavior is designed to synchronize the movements of the two animals so that the male can receive the eggs when the female is ready to deposit them.’
      • ‘In courtship, the male attracts the female with an aerial display.’
      • ‘Adult fru mutant males were tested for a variety of courtship and noncourtship behaviors.’
      • ‘The test was internally corrected for differences in reactivity or spontaneous courtship behavior between mutant and wild-type flies.’
    3. 1.3mass noun The action of attempting to win a person's favour or support.
      ‘the country's courtship of foreign investors’

Pronunciation

courtship

/ˈkɔːtʃɪp/