Definition of curtsy in English:

curtsy

(also curtsey)

noun

  • A woman's or girl's formal greeting made by bending the knees with one foot in front of the other.

    ‘she bobbed a curtsy to him’
    • ‘Each girl gave a little curtsy and Joss wanted to laugh.’
    • ‘Triliny grinned and walked up to Kathryn, giving a slight curtsy and smiling at the girl's expression of disgust.’
    • ‘She gave the Unicorn a formal curtsey, feeling rather foolish for doing so.’
    • ‘‘I apologize, my lord,’ the girl said with a curtsy.’
    • ‘Shalott stepped from the chariot and gave a formal curtsy.’
    • ‘Turning around, she gave a formal curtsy to the Lord of Ghent.’
    • ‘They both smiled, and Cassandra managed a curtsey in greetings.’
    • ‘A young seventeen year old boy bowed next to him, while a thirteen year old girl did a curtsy.’
    • ‘I could hear the rustle of the maid's woolen skirts as she bobbed a curtsy.’
    • ‘Each of the girls dipped a small curtsy when their name was called.’
    • ‘‘I am innocent, sir,’ she said with a small curtsy, ‘Do I look like a girl who would thieve?’’
    • ‘Kurono did a formal bow, while Kaia did a curtsy.’
    • ‘I approached my father as usual, and fell in to a deep curtsy before his feet.’
    • ‘At the final curtsey, everyone was facing the front… except for her.’
    • ‘A little maid rushed to the door and bobbed a curtsy.’
    • ‘Leave us, Monique,’ she waved her hand at the maid, who bobbed a curtsy and hurried out.’
    • ‘Breaking the silence, Clarice appeared and greeted Imogene with a curtsey.’
    • ‘Traditional gestures of salutation such as the bow and the curtsey only gradually gave way to the handshake.’
    • ‘With a slight curtsey, the girl left, shutting the door behind her.’
    • ‘As your arm comes forward to deliver the bowl your right knee rests on the heel of your left foot; you are doing a deep curtsey.’
    bob, genuflection
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Perform a curtsy.

    ‘his sisters had curtsied to the vicar’
    • ‘‘I am her daughter,’ I replied, curtsying slightly.’
    • ‘Laughing, she curtsied and let him lead her onto the dance floor.’
    • ‘I politely curtsied and hurried off the stage to meet up with my friends.’
    • ‘‘Thank you,’ I said curtsying mockingly as we both laughed.’
    • ‘‘Hello, your highness,’ she said, curtsying quickly.’
    • ‘‘I thought tennis had had enough of manners,’ he writes, ‘of bowing and curtsying to rich people who didn't pay taxes.’’
    • ‘It sounded like a book that would teach me how to be a proper lady, complete with frilly lace, curtsying and a lot of time spent being meek.’
    • ‘She curtseyed in return before they swept out onto the dance floor.’
    • ‘‘Yes,’ I said, curtsying to him as we finished the dance.’
    • ‘When the case began, the court clerk may not have gone as far as curtsying, but she still addressed her Royal highness as ‘Ma'am’.’
    • ‘Jocelyn, looking quite small on the large stage, curtsied and blushed though she was used to all the attention by now.’
    • ‘‘Good day, Lord Cecil,’ she murmured at last, curtsying prettily and continuing to blush as he continued to scrutinize her.’
    • ‘Many of the purses were handed to the Princess by children who curtsied shyly and shook hands.’
    • ‘And then, within a matter of months, people were bowing to her, people were curtsying to her, people were looking at everything she wore, analyzing everything.’
    • ‘‘Why thank you sir,’ I said playing along by curtsying.’
    • ‘‘Yes, your highness,’ she said, curtsying as best she could.’
    • ‘‘Yes, Mother,’ Violet replied, curtsying and breaking into the smile which transformed her face into loveliness before flinging her arms around her mother.’
    • ‘‘Your Grace,’ I murmured, curtsying to Cameron.’
    • ‘‘Happy Birthday, your highness,’ I said, curtsying and lowering my head.’
    • ‘Why do all these people keep bowing and curtsying and such?’
    bend the knee, drop a curtsy, bob, genuflect
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 16th century: variant of courtesy. Both forms were used to denote the expression of respect or courtesy by a gesture, especially in phrases such as do courtesy, make courtesy, and from this arose the current use (late 16th century).

Pronunciation

curtsy

/ˈkəːtsi/