Definition of courtship in English:



  • 1A period during which a couple develop a romantic relationship, especially with a view to marriage.

    • ‘Much Ado About Nothing portrays the return from war of Don Pedro and his men and the subsequent courtships, flirtations, practical joking and witty conversations.’
    • ‘Highly romantic courtships don't guarantee living happily ever after, but they are associated with a longer road to divorce.’
    • ‘The final task to be accomplished in the case of successful courtships was a smooth reversal of women's previous steadfast refusals to confide their feelings or commit their hands.’
    • ‘The brief courtships I held in virile adolescence ended in either tragedy of my own doing or forced adieu; both similar to the other, really.’
    • ‘Popular and familiar love songs underscore every bumbling error or ill-conceived machination of the lovers' various courtships.’
    • ‘Romantic rhetoric helped conceal the impact of eighteenth-century courtships on economic and community status; thus were love and power intimately intertwined.’
    • ‘Among the most popular traditional folk songs were those that told stories of settlers, voyageurs, or kings, and courtships between maidens and young men.’
    • ‘There is room also for consideration of the implications of the arguably more opportunistic courtships of the poor revealed by the evidence of illegitimacy cases.’
    • ‘In fact, he actually preferred to come here when he needed inspiration for his poetry or to work out the kinks in the courtships he was helping along.’
    • ‘The women who read the celebrity rags fantasize about fabulous courtships, fairy tale weddings, romantic honeymoons, and the everlasting bonding of parenting.’
    • ‘But this explanation overlooks the important fact that many young women preferred to conceal their courtships as much as possible.’
    • ‘Fournier has identified a total of 15 types of consumer/brand relationships, from marriages of convenience and casual friends to courtships, flings and secret affairs.’
    • ‘I know it is an ‘old-fashioned’ concept these days, but long courtships gave both parties the time to really assess the other.’
    • ‘Why should women have been so eager to prevent their courtships from becoming common knowledge while men adopted the opposite attitude?’
    • ‘As competition increased, so did the cost of success: courtships not only took longer, but the time spent ‘mate-guarding’ also increased.’
    • ‘Children were illegitimate for any number of reasons, including rapes, seductions, adultery, failed courtships, and long-term cohabitation.’
    • ‘Otherwise, Elizabeth's courtships were a pretence: they provided the pretexts for straightforwardly diplomatic negotiations.’
    • ‘And I believe in short engagements and short courtships because I just got married in the summer to a wonderful man.’
    • ‘They sometimes unwisely expose themselves to the dangers of long courtships, waiting, for example, to complete graduate school.’
    romance, affair, love affair, going out, going steady, dating, engagement, keeping company
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    1. 1.1Behavior designed to persuade someone to marry or develop a romantic relationship with one.
      ‘he was eventually successful in his patient courtship of Dorothy’
      • ‘So, too, men and women seem to be different, at least when it comes to courtship behavior.’
      • ‘Strict rules governed young women's courtship behavior because of the possibility of pregnancy and the importance of a prudent choice.’
      • ‘The rules of courtship don't apply to you, and so your behavior is confusing and unpredictable.’
      • ‘Freund identifies rape as a ‘courtship disorder,’ that is, an anomalous performance of courtship behavior.’
      • ‘Among many good scenes in the book, Russel's courtship of his college sweetheart, a portrait of a nerd falling in love, is particularly well done.’
      • ‘Men's courtship attempts were described by comparison to just about every other public bid for power men engaged in.’
      • ‘Participants who called more different boys or made more total calls to boys during adolescence were considered to have engaged in more early courtship behavior.’
      • ‘In this study early courtship behavior, as measured by telephone calling patterns, emerged as a significant variable.’
      • ‘Real courtship is about persuasion, not marketing, and the techniques of the laboratory cannot help us translate the motivations of the heart.’
      • ‘Within the Zulu Kingdom in the late 1800s, an elaborate system of bead language was used, mainly to communicate messages about courtship in love tokens.’
      wooing, courting, suit, pursuit, attentions, advances, blandishments
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    2. 1.2The behavior of male birds and other animals aimed at attracting a mate.
      • ‘The test was internally corrected for differences in reactivity or spontaneous courtship behavior between mutant and wild-type flies.’
      • ‘Scientists think the courtship behavior is designed to synchronize the movements of the two animals so that the male can receive the eggs when the female is ready to deposit them.’
      • ‘Apart from the lost paternity, other males may also decrease mating success by disrupted courtship or female avoidance.’
      • ‘Male courtship display includes extending the dorsal fin, pursuing, and eventually biting the female.’
      • ‘Nuptial gifts provided by males during courtship or mating can influence female mating preference.’
      • ‘What looks like a brown bear brawl is actually some rather rambunctious courtship behavior, say the authors, whose photographs frequently appear in these pages.’
      • ‘But the courtship behaviors and rituals documented are a boon to science.’
      • ‘In arena trials, females that were exercised to exhaustion before courtship mated with smaller males than did control females.’
      • ‘Brown trout embryos were sampled from wild redds after using a VHR camera to observe and record the courtship behavior of adults in selected areas of the River Sella.’
      • ‘This may be due to the cheetah's prolonged courtship behavior, which requires extensive territory.’
      • ‘Adult fru mutant males were tested for a variety of courtship and noncourtship behaviors.’
      • ‘In some species, males have courtship displays which may involve feather fluffing, holding the wings out, shaking them, and raising the tail feathers.’
      • ‘There was no adult male in sight, because the female assumes all the duties of nesting; the male's reproductive role begins with courtship and ends with mating.’
      • ‘Male courtship displays and bright coloration are usually assumed to provide information to females about some aspect of the male's value as a mate.’
      • ‘During courtship, the male displays for the female by scraping a nest and bowing next to the female while flashing the white on his tail.’
      • ‘During courtship, males sing to defend their territories and attract mates.’
      • ‘He was one of the first to film courtship behavior of Sandhill Cranes, Spruce Grouse, and Greater-Prairie Chickens.’
      • ‘During the breeding season, groups of males do their courtship display together, puffing out air sacs in their chest and spreading their tails.’
      • ‘In courtship, the male attracts the female with an aerial display.’
      • ‘A number of mutants showing abnormalities in courtship behavior have been identified, many of which show reduced levels of courtship behavior.’
    3. 1.3The process of attempting to win a person's favor or support.
      ‘the country's courtship of foreign investors’