Definition of court verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kɔːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːrt//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they court
    BrE BrE//kɔːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːrt//
    he / she / it courts
    BrE BrE//kɔːts//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːrts//
    past simple courted
    BrE BrE//ˈkɔːtɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːrtɪd//
    past participle courted
    BrE BrE//ˈkɔːtɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːrtɪd//
    -ing form courting
    BrE BrE//ˈkɔːtɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːrtɪŋ//
    Romance, Love
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    try to please
  1. 1[transitive] court somebody to try to please somebody in order to get something you want, especially the support of a person, an organization, etc. synonym cultivate Both candidates have spent the last month courting the media.
  2. try to get
  3. 2[transitive] court something (formal) to try to obtain something He has never courted popularity.
  4. invite something bad
  5. 3[transitive] court something (formal) to do something that might result in something unpleasant happening to court danger/death/disaster As a politician he has often courted controversy.
  6. have relationship
  7. 4[transitive] court somebody (old-fashioned) if a man courts a woman, he spends time with her and tries to make her love him, so that they can get married He had been courting Jane for six months. See related entries: Romance, Love
  8. 5be courting [intransitive] (old-fashioned) (of a man and a woman) to have a romantic relationship before getting married At that time they had been courting for several years. see also courtship
  9. animals
  10. 6court something (of a male bird or other animal) to try to attract a mate
  11. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French cort, from Latin cohors, cohort- ‘yard or retinue’. The verb is influenced by Old Italian corteare, Old French courtoyer. Compare with cohort.Extra examples He spent three months assiduously courting a newspaper editor. The band has actively courted a young audience. At that time they had been courting for several months. He courted Jane for two years before she finally agreed to marry him. Your grandfather and I were still courting at the time.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: court