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

n a courteous manner

good manners
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

n a courteous or respectful or considerate act

a courteous act indicating affection
polite attentiveness to women
Type of:
civility, politeness
the act of showing regard for others

n a courteous or respectful or considerate remark

Type of:
comment, input, remark
a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.