American Dictionary of the English Language

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1. Elegance or politeness of manners; especially, politeness connected with kindness; civility; complaisance; as, the gentleman shows great courtesy to strangers; he treats his friends with great courtesy

2. An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness or favor performed with politeness.

3. The act of civility, respect or reverence, performed by a woman; a fall or inclination of the body, corresponding in design to the bow of a gentleman.

4. A favor; as, to hold upon courtesy that is, not of right, but by indulgence.

Tenure by courtesy or curtesy, is where a man marries a woman seized of an estate of inheritance, and has by her issue born alive, which was capable of inheriting her estate; in this case, on the death of his wife, he holds the lands for his life, as tenant by curtesy.

COURTESY, verb intransitive To perform an act of civiility, respect or reverence, as a woman. Note. This word was formerly applied to the other sex; but is now used only of the acts of reverence or civility, performed by women.

COURTESY, verb transitive To treat with civility. [Not in use.]