Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An attendant at a sovereign's court.
  • n. One who seeks favor, especially by insincere flattery or obsequious behavior.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person in attendance at a royal court.
  • n. A person who flatters in order to seek favour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who is in attendance at the court of a prince; one who has an appointment at court.
  • n. One who courts or solicits favor; one who flatters.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who attends or frequents the court of a sovereign or other high dignitary.
  • n. One who courts or solicits the favor of another; one who possesses the art of gaining favor by address and complaisance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an attendant at the court of a sovereign

Etymologies

Middle English courteour, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French cortoier, to be at a royal court, from cort, court; see court.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • All my training and thoughts were centred here, not as what one calls a courtier at all, but as one of the household who feared the king and queen no more than

    A Prince of Cornwall A Story of Glastonbury and the West in the Days of Ina of Wessex

  • The Persian courtier is constantly on horseback, hunting with his sovereign in weather of all kinds, or accompanying him in journeys from one end of Persia to the other.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

  • Now, the old woman sat no more at the door with her distaff -- the lank beggar no longer asked charity in courtier-like phrase; nor on holidays did the peasantry thread with slow grace the mazes of the dance.

    III.6

  • But the disposition of a courtier is tame and submissive; and Capito seldom presumed to deviate from the sentiments, or at least from the words, of his predecessors; while the bold republican pursued his independent ideas without fear of paradox or innovations.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • The Republican criminal class of the current generation has not slithered, cheated, bribed and whored its way to power without the active support and contrivance of the establishment media, which Digby has rightly described as a courtier class.

    Firedoglake » Late Nite FDL: “Personnel is Policy:” It’s Time for Regime Change

  • A courtier is an attendant at a royal court or an inveterate flatterer.

    Essential Guide to Business Style and Usage

  • It didn't matter that the courtier was her son; she had no intention of taking the game past the graceful and empty movements of the dance of words and gesture, and he knew it, and she knew he knew it, so everyone was happy.

    Magic's Promise

  • He is good metal in the inside, though rough and unscoured without, and therefore hated of the courtier, that is quite contrary.

    Microcosmography or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters

  • B.C. He was a voluptuary, who sang beautifully of love, and wine, and nature, and who has been called the courtier and laureate of tyrants, in whose society, and especially in that of Polyc'rates and Hippar'chus, his days were spent.

    Mosaics of Grecian History

  • The jocose ruffians here enliven the scene -- one by being cast into a dungeon for asking _Ottocar_ (evidently the Colburn of his day), an exorbitant price for the copyright of a certain manuscript; the other, by calling the courtier a man of genius, and being taken into his service, as no doubt, "first robber."

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, October 9, 1841

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