Definition of courtly in US English:

courtly

adjective

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

    ‘he gave a courtly bow’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Knights now had to be more than just brave warriors, but also polished courtly gentlemen, able to converse with and entertain ladies.’
    • ‘It has a processional and stately character, having originated in courtly 16th-century ceremonies.’
    • ‘He has a gracious, almost courtly manner, a striking physical appearance, and a sharp mind.’
    • ‘With its mixture of courtly refinement and everyday reality, this miniature is representative of many in the book.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He had asked her, in a courtly, polite way, if she would let him make the choice.’
    • ‘He grinned, blowing out a puff of smoke, then did a courtly bow to the quarter-deck.’
    • ‘The silver-haired Virginian with courtly manners is a throwback to a forgotten era of congressional comity.’
    • ‘Thus the most elaborate arrangements pertained to the royal or courtly bath culture.’
    • ‘The poet who was so courtly and gentle in his verse could be coarse and vulgar in his everyday speech.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 galled him to do this, but he put on his best courtly air and bowed to his queen.’
    • ‘As he had the first time she had seen him, he made a deep, courtly bow.’
    • ‘In fact, they were both gentleman of the old school, courtly, cultivated.’
    • ‘The 59-year-old, with the courtly manner of the southern black gentry, shrinks from criticizing others.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is possible that members of tribes were recruited into the royal armies and became acquainted with courtly dress and ornaments.’
    refined, polished, cultivated, cultured, civilized, stylish, elegant, sophisticated, urbane, suave, debonair
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Pronunciation

courtly

/ˈkɔrtli//ˈkôrtlē/