courtesy


courtesy
courtesy, amenity, attention, gallantry are comparable when they denote a manner or an act which promotes agreeable or pleasant social relations.
Courtesy suggests consideration for others or deference (as to their rank, sex, or age); it usually implies good breeding and acquired graces but it sometimes connotes innate gentleness or instinctive politeness rather than social training
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the beauty of an inherited courtesy ... of a thousand little ceremonies flowering out of the most ordinary relations and observances of life— Binyon

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rising to receive him . . . with all the engaging graces and courtesies of life— Dickens

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Amenity implies a disposition to make easy the approach to or the continuance of pleasant social relations ; when used concretely it may be applied not only to words or acts but to pursuits, interests, or facilities that bring men into rapport
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he was ... a charming letter-writer; above all, an excellent and delightful talker. The gaiety and amenity of his natural disposition were inexhaustible— Arnold

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he is a man of informed tastes who happens to prize the amenities. A snob, however, he is not and never has had to be—J. M. Brown

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would she be interested to read it? Might he send it to her? Joan's chaperon . . . put no bar upon these amenitiesH. G. Wells

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Attention implies a singling out of a particular person for special favor or consideration, or as the recipient of courtesies showing one's admiration or love (as in courting)
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the elder son is paying attention to his roommate's sister

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many of his visitors were busily deferential toward the young lord, and evidently flattered by his attentionsCarlos Baker

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she loved her children, but did not unduly spoil them or turn their heads with injudicious attentionsRose Macaulay

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Gallantry stresses devoted attention, sometimes amorous attention, to a lady; it also often connotes ingratiating personal qualities (as ease of address, a dashing style, or a polished manner)
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"Now despise me if you dare." "Indeed I do not dare." Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantryAusten

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Cashel, in a businesslike manner, and without the slightest air of gallantry, expertly lifted her and placed her on her feet— Shaw

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Analogous words: graciousness, cordiality, affability, geniality (see corresponding adjectives at GRACIOUS): politeness, cour- teousness, courtliness, chivalrousness or chivalry, civility (see corresponding adjectives at CIVIL): considerateness or consideration, attentiveness, thoughtfulness (see corresponding adjectives at THOUGHTFUL)
Antonyms: discourtesy
Contrasted words: churlishness, boorishness (see corresponding adjectives under BOOR): rudeness, impoliteness, ungraciousness, incivility (see corresponding adjectives at RUDE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • courtesy — [kʉrt′ə sē; ] for 4 [, kʉrt′sē] n. pl. courtesies [ME courteisie < OFr curteisie: see COURTEOUS] 1. courteous behavior; gracious politeness 2. a polite, helpful, or considerate act or remark 3. an act or usage intended to honor or compliment… …   English World dictionary

  • Courtesy — Cour te*sy (k?r t? s?), n.; pl. {Courtesies} ( s?z). [OE. cortaisie, corteisie, courtesie, OF. curteisie, cortoisie, OF. curteisie, cortoisie, F. courtoisie, fr. curteis, corteis. See {Courteous}.] 1. Politeness; civility; urbanity; courtliness.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Courtesy — comes from old french courteis (12th century) is gentle politeness and courtly manners. In the Middle Ages in Europe, the behaviour expected of the gentry was compiled in courtesy books. One of the most influential of these was Il Cortegiano (The …   Wikipedia

  • courtesy — ► NOUN (pl. courtesies) 1) courteous behaviour. 2) a polite speech or action, especially one required by convention. ● (by) courtesy of Cf. ↑courtesy of …   English terms dictionary

  • Courtesy — Courte sy (k[^u]rt s[y^]), n. [See the preceding word.] An act of civility, respect, or reverence, made by women, consisting of a slight depression or dropping of the body, with bending of the knees. [Written also {curtsy} and {curtsey}.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • courtesy — [n1] good manners address, affability, amenities, amiability, attentiveness, ceremony, chivalry, civility, comity, complaisance, consideration, cordiality, courteousness, courtliness, cultivation, culture, deference, elegance, familiarity, favor …   New thesaurus

  • Courtesy — Courte sy, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Courtesied} ( s[i^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Courtesying}.] To make a respectful salutation or movement of respect; esp. (with reference to women), to bow the body slightly, with bending of the knes. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Courtesy — Courte sy, v. t. To treat with civility. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • courtesy — I noun affability, amenity, amiability, chivalry, civility, comitas, comity, complaisance, consideration, cordiality, courteous conduct, courteousness, courtliness, deference, elegance of manners, etiquette, excellence of behavior, friendliness,… …   Law dictionary

  • courtesy — early 13c., curteisie, from O.Fr. curteisie (Mod.Fr. courtoisie), from curteis courteous (see COURTEOUS (Cf. courteous)). A specialized sense of curteisie is the source of English CURTSY (Cf. curtsy) …   Etymology dictionary


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