Definition of courtly love in US English:

courtly love


  • A highly conventionalized medieval tradition of love between a knight and a married noblewoman, first developed by the troubadours of southern France and extensively employed in European literature of the time. The love of the knight for his lady was regarded as an ennobling passion and the relationship was typically unconsummated.

    • ‘The sense of courtly love as a unique European achievement and hence a key element in establishing European cultural identity was widely discussed in the interwar period.’
    • ‘In the ‘Franklin's Tale,’ Geoffrey Chaucer satirically paints a picture of a marriage steeped in the tradition of courtly love.’
    • ‘The cult of the Virgin in the Middle Ages, he argues, led to the courtly love poets, the troubadours, idealising women in their writing.’
    • ‘The fiddle and harp were the most respectable, played by the troubadours and associated with courtly love.’
    • ‘Yet this text pre-dates the medieval poetry of courtly love by over a thousand years.’


courtly love

/ˈkɔrtli ləv//ˈkôrtlē ləv/