A courtesy is a polite remark or respectful act. Complain about a bad meal, and you might get kicked out. But the common courtesy is usually an apology from the manager and, if you're lucky, a free dinner.

Courtesy is all about using your good manners, which is why it shares roots with the word courteous. Holding the door open for someone, writing a thank-you note for a gift, and letting the pregnant lady have the last seat on the bus are all courtesies that would make your parents proud. And if something is kindly presented to you free of charge, the gift-giver may say it's "courtesy of" someone special.

Definitions of courtesy
  1. noun
    a courteous manner
    synonyms: good manners
    see moresee less
    discourtesy, rudeness
    a manner that is rude and insulting
    show 7 types...
    hide 7 types...
    niceness, politeness
    a courteous manner that respects accepted social usage
    polished courtesy; elegance of manner
    excellence of manners or social conduct
    chivalry, gallantry, politesse
    courtesy towards women
    deference, respect, respectfulness
    courteous regard for people's feelings
    formal or perfunctory politeness
    blandness, smoothness, suaveness, suavity
    the quality of being bland and gracious or ingratiating in manner
    type of:
    manner, personal manner
    a way of acting or behaving
  2. noun
    a courteous or respectful or considerate act
    see moresee less
    a courteous act indicating affection
    polite attentiveness to women
    type of:
    civility, politeness
    the act of showing regard for others
  3. noun
    a courteous or respectful or considerate remark
    see moresee less
    type of:
    comment, input, remark
    a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week