Definition of courtesy in US English:

courtesy

nounPlural courtesies

  • 1The showing of politeness in one's attitude and behavior toward others.

    ‘he had been treated with a degree of courtesy not far short of deference’
    • ‘Anarchy must not over-ride respect, decency and courtesy on our streets.’
    • ‘Players should also show respect and courtesy to coaches.’
    • ‘He should have politely and with great courtesy informed the Government that he wanted no such State reception.’
    • ‘They want lessons in politeness, courtesy, and most of all the correct way to drive a car in traffic.’
    • ‘The waiting staff, very much to their credit, were the epitome of courtesy, politeness and calm, despite being rushed completely off their feet.’
    • ‘Just as in the off-line world, online there is also an expectation of socially acceptable behavior and common courtesy.’
    • ‘They have no courtesy towards road users and commuters.’
    • ‘He coaches, organises games and transports the players always with courtesy and efficiency and an abundance of patience.’
    • ‘With faux courtesy, he politely suggested that Smith was being optimistic.’
    • ‘Good humour, mutual respect, courtesy, a certain gentleness with people usually does the trick.’
    • ‘I expect politeness and courtesy towards me as landowner, my family, friends, guests and visitors.’
    • ‘It's a question of attitude - an attitude of courtesy that does not prevail here.’
    • ‘But that is not all: it is unfailing courtesy, especially towards the very old and the very young, that makes association with such men such a privilege.’
    • ‘Values such as respect, courtesy and consideration are the foundations of a civilised society’
    • ‘The very least he deserved was some respect and courtesy, even if it killed me to be polite.’
    • ‘Except that first night at the ball, he had shown her nothing but courtesy and reasonably cultured behaviour, given his background.’
    • ‘The anonymity of the Internet is a definite negative when it comes to courtesy and good behavior.’
    • ‘I have sought to do all this with courtesy, decency and honesty, respecting those who would like me to move faster and those who feel threatened by our moving at all.’
    • ‘Politeness and courtesy are highly valued as aspects of being ‘raised good.’’
    politeness, courteousness, good manners, civility, respect, respectfulness, deference, chivalry, gallantry, good breeding, gentility, graciousness, kindness, consideration, thought, thoughtfulness, cordiality, geniality, affability, urbanity, polish, refinement, courtliness, decorousness, tact, discretion, diplomacy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1often courtesies A polite speech or action, especially one required by convention.
      ‘the superficial courtesies of diplomatic exchanges’
      • ‘She has extended a lot of courtesies to me, and I feel somewhat indebted.’
      • ‘As a courtesy, reintroduce yourself to people you may have met before.’
      • ‘Make sure you are on time as a courtesy to your stylist.’
      • ‘And the local Army recruiter had been selected to be my chauffeur, a bit of a courtesy for an old, retired four-star general.’
      • ‘I once spoke to a retailer who said she had a problem teaching her staff basic courtesies in handling customers.’
      • ‘I e-mailed him as a courtesy.’
      • ‘Customers appreciate and recall simple courtesies.’
      • ‘Your popularity is certain to increase if you are affable and ready to exchange courtesies.’
      • ‘I was brought up understanding that there were certain courtesies and considerations to be extended to all fellow creatures.’
      • ‘Would you not want similar courtesies extended to you?’
      • ‘Touch base with your friend after the date as a courtesy.’
      • ‘The elaborate academic courtesies seen at graduation ceremonies are a tremendous sham in the current environment.’
      • ‘His attentiveness was insistent and intrusive, far more aggressive than the almost archaic courtesies of his brother.’
      • ‘An assistant manager was calling, not to discuss our predicament - he was obviously unaware - but as a courtesy.’
      • ‘As a child, courtesies were drummed in to me by my parents.’
      • ‘Beneath the jargon, cautious phrases and academic courtesies, one thing was clear: the consensus about social constructs was unraveling.’
      • ‘Your presence is a courtesy, not a necessity.’
      • ‘It is the absence of small courtesies in everyday life that creates an environment where evil can thrive.’
      • ‘‘They used to chase us away, now they call us ‘madam’ and extend us courtesies,’ she adds.’
      • ‘Hotels generally provide still mineral water in the rooms as a courtesy.’
    2. 1.2as modifier (especially of transport) supplied free of charge to people who are already paying for another service.
      ‘he traveled from the hotel in a courtesy car’
      • ‘He subsequently took a courtesy car to the airport and returned to Spain.’
      • ‘Does this policy offer a courtesy car as standard?’
      • ‘After I checked into the hotel, I took a courtesy shuttle back to the airport to catch the Blue Line toward Wrigley Field.’
      • ‘Incidentally, does your motor insurer offer a free comprehensive courtesy car service when yours is out of action?’
      • ‘Some events provide door-to-door service, courtesy cars and the like.’
      • ‘She had to spend two days on the phone with insurance and repair companies, trying in vain to get the courtesy car to which she is supposed to be entitled.’
      • ‘Ok, so if I take my little car to a dealership to be serviced I am lucky to get a courtesy car.’
      • ‘I'm sure that most customers would prefer to have a service agent much closer to office or home, and not need to have the added customer service of a courtesy car.’
      • ‘Some hotels offer a courtesy shuttle to and from the airport.’
      • ‘Excellent service facilities at very competitive prices with free courtesy cars available.’
      • ‘Sadly the courtesy car's seats have been covered more with economy in mind than aesthetics.’
      • ‘It was also claimed that she would be given free flights, free accommodation and a free Jaguar courtesy car for the trip.’
      • ‘This includes many hotel courtesy vehicles used for transporting customers, even though there is no charge.’
      • ‘They're supposed to provide free courtesy cars too, but you need to book 7 or 8 weeks ahead for that, and even then they sometimes aren't there when you turn up.’
      • ‘The minibus, a hotel courtesy taxi, was on its way to Manchester Airport with passengers looking forward to flying out for their summer holidays.’
      • ‘He thought that I should supply him the clutch free of charge and refused to return the courtesy car unless I did!’
      • ‘In addition, operators of courtesy coach services have raised concerns that the bill will affect the service they provide.’
      • ‘So we've been stuck at home again all day pending the delivery of a courtesy car for the duration of the repairs.’
      • ‘The whole event was very special with amazing locker-rooms and a courtesy car that was waiting for me at the airport and available for use all week.’
      • ‘Instead of paying local taxi firms to work on contract, the courtesy cars will ferry patients and staff about in a more readily available service which will also save money.’
      free, free of charge, without payment, without charge, at no cost, for nothing, gratis
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3archaic A curtsy.

Phrases

  • by courtesy

    • As a favor rather than by right.

      ‘he was not at the conference only by courtesy’
      • ‘‘I spoke at the meeting,’ he said, ‘but I had to say I had no legal standing and I was there only by courtesy.’’
      • ‘Whereas taxi drivers look at you blankly when you demand to be taken to somewhere that serves booze, ‘art students’ are bound by courtesy and their knowledge of English to help you.’
      • ‘At present I am called captain only by courtesy - I am dependent on upon the courtesy of a parcel of damned scrubs, much as surgeons are by courtesy called Doctor.’
      • ‘The plaintiff, in advising counsel for the defendants by courtesy that he was bringing an ex parte motion for substitutional service against him, did not allow for sufficient time for a response to his motion.’
      • ‘The reason was simple: the fathers of the leaders of the conservatives, being high cadres, were working class by courtesy - although few of them were actually so in family origin.’
      • ‘‘In five ways should a wife be ministered to by her husband: by respect, by courtesy, by faithfulness, by giving her authority (in the home), by providing her with adornments’.’
      • ‘The veteran correspondent adds, ‘The Senate was run by courtesy, all right - like a longshoreman's union.’’
      benevolence, kindness, generosity, indulgence, favour, consideration, consent, permission
      View synonyms
  • (by) courtesy of

    • 1Given or allowed by.

      ‘photograph courtesy of the Evening Star’
      • ‘But we just got the most valuable piece of information on the Bahamas courtesy of a reader.’
      • ‘They won an all-expenses-paid weekend away courtesy of the newspaper.’
      • ‘The movie is courtesy of our gracious holiday hosts, an added bonus to their, as ever, amazing hospitality.’
      1. 1.1informal As a result of; thanks to.
        • ‘And letting us see down his throat courtesy of the microphone stand mounted camera.’
        • ‘Voters had the use of a free mail service for their ballot courtesy of a US-based delivery company.’
        • ‘They are having a day out in London, courtesy of a bargain rail ticket.’
        • ‘They have been transported over here courtesy of one of the main sponsors.’
        • ‘Successful applicants will get their rural trip courtesy of a new TV programme.’
        • ‘Help is at hand courtesy of some pirating mayhem at Glasgow's Tall Ship.’
        • ‘And they are promising a feast of live music, courtesy of some of Britain's top folk performers.’
        • ‘The first is a family trip to Egypt courtesy of the Cairo government.’
        • ‘Homeward bound, I got a couple of hours closer to Toronto courtesy of my sister and her boyfriend.’
        • ‘Of the nine goals scored in the game, seven were courtesy of special teams.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French cortesie, from corteis (see courteous).

Pronunciation

courtesy

/ˈkərdəsē//ˈkərdəsi/