Definition of COURTEOUS


Courteous serves as an adjective, describing behavior or actions that reflect politeness, respect, and consideration for others. It embodies social grace and civility, enhancing interpersonal interactions and fostering positive relationships in various contexts.

In its adjective form, courteous denotes behavior characterized by politeness, kindness, and respectfulness toward others. It encompasses gestures, words, and actions that reflect consideration for the feelings, needs, and rights of individuals, contributing to harmonious and respectful social interactions.

Politeness and Respect: Courteous behavior involves demonstrating politeness and respect in one’s interactions with others, regardless of their social status, background, or opinions. It entails using courteous language, observing social norms, and showing appreciation for others’ perspectives and contributions.

Consideration and Empathy: A key aspect of courteous behavior is consideration for the feelings, needs, and preferences of others. It involves listening attentively, empathizing with others’ experiences, and responding thoughtfully to their concerns or requests, demonstrating empathy and understanding in interpersonal interactions.

Acts of Kindness: Courteous individuals often engage in acts of kindness or consideration toward others, such as holding doors open, offering assistance, or expressing gratitude for favors or courtesies extended to them. These small gestures of kindness contribute to a positive and supportive social environment, fostering goodwill and mutual respect.

Professional Etiquette: In professional settings, courteous behavior is essential for maintaining positive relationships with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. It involves communicating respectfully, collaborating effectively, and demonstrating professionalism in all interactions, enhancing productivity, morale, and teamwork in the workplace.

Cultural Sensitivity: Courteous behavior requires awareness and respect for cultural differences, customs, and norms, recognizing that expressions of courtesy may vary across cultures and contexts. Embracing cultural sensitivity and diversity promotes inclusive and respectful interactions, bridging differences and fostering mutual understanding and acceptance.

In conclusion, courteous behavior exemplifies politeness, respect, and consideration for others in social, professional, and cultural contexts. By demonstrating kindness, empathy, and respectfulness toward others, courteous individuals contribute to positive and harmonious interpersonal relationships, enriching the fabric of society with civility, empathy, and mutual respect. Embracing the principles of courtesy enhances communication, collaboration, and cooperation, fostering a culture of kindness and respect that benefits individuals and communities alike.

Examples of COURTEOUS in a sentence

  • As an adjective, courteous describes someone who is polite, respectful, and considerate in their behavior towards others.
  • The hotel staff provided courteous service, attending to guests’ needs with a smile.
  • She received a courteous response to her inquiry, with the customer service representative addressing her concerns promptly.
  • Being courteous to fellow drivers by using turn signals and yielding when necessary contributes to safer road conditions.
  • The waiter greeted patrons with a courteous nod and guided them to their table with grace.
  • Courteous communication in the workplace fosters a positive and collaborative environment among colleagues.
  • It’s important to be courteous to neighbors by keeping noise levels down and respecting shared spaces.
  • Showing courteous behavior towards strangers, such as holding doors open and saying “please” and “thank you,” contributes to a more pleasant social atmosphere.

Origin of COURTEOUS 

The term courteous traces its etymological origins to the Old French word “corteis,” which emerged from the Latin word “cohors,” meaning “court” or “enclosure.”

  • Latin Root: The Latin word “cohors” originally referred to an enclosed area or courtyard, particularly one surrounding a dwelling or residence.
  • Evolution in Old French: Through the influence of Norman French following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the term “corteis” evolved in Old French to denote behavior befitting the court or royal court, emphasizing politeness, refinement, and respectfulness.
  • Middle English Transition: As Old French vocabulary infiltrated Middle English following the Norman Conquest, the term “courteous” entered the English language, retaining its connotations of refined behavior and politeness.
  • Modern Usage: In contemporary English, being courteous denotes showing politeness, respect, and consideration towards others in one’s actions, speech, and demeanor.

Through its linguistic evolution from Latin through Old French to Middle English, the term courteous reflects enduring ideals of respect and politeness in social interactions across different historical and cultural contexts.


  • Polite
  • Civil
  • Respectful
  • Genteel
  • Well-mannered
  • Considerate
  • Chivalrous
  • Deferential


  • Rude
  • Impolite
  • Discourteous
  • Abrasive
  • Insensitive
  • Uncivil
  • Disrespectful
  • Inconsiderate


  • Tactful
  • Diplomatic
  • Amiable
  • Gracious
  • Cordial
  • Thoughtful
  • Mannerly
  • Pleasant

🌐 🇬🇧 COURTEOUS in other languages

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