Definition of curtsy in English:

curtsy

Line breaks: curtsy
Pronunciation: /ˈkəːtsi
 
/
(also curtsey)

noun (plural curtsies or curtseys)

  • A woman’s or girl’s formal greeting made by bending the knees with one foot in front of the other: she bobbed a curtsy to him
    More example sentences
    • Leave us, Monique,’ she waved her hand at the maid, who bobbed a curtsy and hurried out.
    • A little maid rushed to the door and bobbed a curtsy.
    • I could hear the rustle of the maid's woolen skirts as she bobbed a curtsy.
    Synonyms
    bob, genuflection
    archaic courtesy, obeisance

verb (curtsies, curtsying, curtsied or curtseys, curtseying, curtseyed)

[no object] Back to top  
  • Perform a curtsy: his sisters had curtsied to the vicar
    More example sentences
    • Jocelyn, looking quite small on the large stage, curtsied and blushed though she was used to all the attention by now.
    • And then, within a matter of months, people were bowing to her, people were curtsying to her, people were looking at everything she wore, analyzing everything.
    • When the case began, the court clerk may not have gone as far as curtsying, but she still addressed her Royal highness as ‘Ma'am’.
    Synonyms

Origin

early 16th century: variant of courtesy. Both forms were used to denote the expression of respect or courtesy by a gesture, especially in phrases such as do courtesy, make courtesy, and from this arose the current use (late 16th century).

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