Definition of courtly in US English:

courtly

adjective

  • Very polite or refined, as befitting a royal court.

    ‘he gave a courtly bow’
    • ‘The silver-haired Virginian with courtly manners is a throwback to a forgotten era of congressional comity.’
    • ‘The 59-year-old, with the courtly manner of the southern black gentry, shrinks from criticizing others.’
    • ‘Yet that is not to say that Romantic artists still put much faith in liberal accounts of invention and exchange - even less in the courtly culture of aristocratic obligation.’
    • ‘It deals with two women who reject their suitors because they've decided they want to marry men who are more fashionable, affected and accustomed to courtly manners.’
    • ‘Knights now had to be more than just brave warriors, but also polished courtly gentlemen, able to converse with and entertain ladies.’
    • ‘The poet who was so courtly and gentle in his verse could be coarse and vulgar in his everyday speech.’
    • ‘It is possible that members of tribes were recruited into the royal armies and became acquainted with courtly dress and ornaments.’
    • ‘With its mixture of courtly refinement and everyday reality, this miniature is representative of many in the book.’
    • ‘He has a gracious, almost courtly manner, a striking physical appearance, and a sharp mind.’
    • ‘It has a processional and stately character, having originated in courtly 16th-century ceremonies.’
    • ‘Taking a moment, he opened the doors for them, helping them out and giving each a courtly bow and a gentle kiss on the cheek.’
    • ‘The young men parted to form a path as a courtly gentleman came up to us and, in impeccable English, introduced himself as the former minister of industry, retired since 1989.’
    • ‘Literate North India, for its part, laments the transformation of a Delhi that was once a byword for elegant poetry, Mughal manners and courtly civilisation.’
    • ‘It galled him to do this, but he put on his best courtly air and bowed to his queen.’
    • ‘In fact, they were both gentleman of the old school, courtly, cultivated.’
    • ‘As he had the first time she had seen him, he made a deep, courtly bow.’
    • ‘Thus the most elaborate arrangements pertained to the royal or courtly bath culture.’
    • ‘He grinned, blowing out a puff of smoke, then did a courtly bow to the quarter-deck.’
    • ‘He had asked her, in a courtly, polite way, if she would let him make the choice.’
    • ‘Hidden in shadow of this courtly culture, the world of the highland Balinese has been largely ignored even though Bali counts among the most researched localities in the world.’
    refined, polished, cultivated, cultured, civilized, stylish, elegant, sophisticated, urbane, suave, debonair
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Pronunciation

courtly

/ˈkôrtlē//ˈkɔrtli/