American English

Definition of courtesy noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. courtesies)
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  1. 1[uncountable] polite behavior that shows respect for other people synonym I was treated with the utmost courtesy by the staff. We asked them, as a matter of courtesy, if we could photograph their house. It's only common courtesy to tell the neighbors that we'll be having a party (= the kind of behavior that people would expect).
  2. 2[countable, usually plural] (formal) a polite thing that you say or do when you meet people in formal situations an exchange of courtesies before the meeting
  3. Idioms
      courtesy of somebody/something
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    1. 1(also by courtesy of somebody/something) with the official permission of someone or something and as a favor The pictures have been reproduced by courtesy of the National Gallery of Art.
    2. 2given as a prize or provided free by a person or an organization Win a trip to New York, courtesy of Coast Airways.
    3. 3as the result of a particular thing or situation Viewers can see the stadium from the air, courtesy of a camera fastened to the plane.
    do somebody the courtesy of doing something
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    to be polite by doing the thing that is mentioned Please do me the courtesy of listening to what I'm saying.
    have the courtesy to do something
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    to know when you should do something in order to be polite You think he'd at least have the courtesy to call to say he'd be late.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: courtesy