Definition of courtesan in English:

courtesan

Syllabification: cour·te·san
Pronunciation: /ˈkôrtəzən, ˈkər-
 
/

noun

  • A prostitute, especially one with wealthy or upper-class clients.
    More example sentences
    • Punning on the meaning of grande as tall or as grand in the social sense, the seventeenth-century commentator noted the reference to the courtesans and prostitutes of Venice.
    • Geishas broke apart from courtesans / prostitutes sometime around the 1500s- 1600s, so the two are somewhat similar.
    • Nobody in Japan would dream of confusing top Gion geisha with high - class courtesans, let alone prostitutes, the myth that continues to prevail about geisha in the West.

Origin

mid 16th century: from French courtisane, from obsolete Italian cortigiana, feminine of cortigiano 'courtier', from corte (see court).

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