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Curtsy   /kˈərtsi/   Listen
Curtsy

verb
1.
Bend the knees in a gesture of respectful greeting.  Synonym: curtsey.
2.
Make a curtsy; usually done only by girls and women; as a sign of respect.  Synonym: bob.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Curtsy" Quotes from Famous Books



... was going up Pippin Hill Pippin hill was dirty. There I met a pretty miss, And she dropped me a curtsy. ...
— The Sleeping Beauty Picture Book - Containing The Sleeping Beauty; Bluebeard; The Baby's Own Alaphabet • Anonymous

... Fripp, who was a very rare church-goer, had been to Mrs. Hackit to beg a bit of old crape, and with this sign of grief pinned on her little coal-scuttle bonnet, was seen dropping her curtsy opposite the reading-desk. This manifestation of respect towards Mr. Gilfil's memory on the part of Dame Fripp had no theological bearing whatever. It was due to an event which had occurred some years back, and which, I am sorry to say, had left that grimy old lady as indifferent to the means ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... for the hostess was no sooner asked the question than she readily agreed; and, with a curtsy and smile, wished them a good journey. However, lest Fanny's skill in physiognomy should be called in question, we will venture to assign one reason which might probably incline her to this confidence and good-humour. When Adams said he was going to visit his ...
— Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2 • Henry Fielding

... say, 'Certainly.' We arrive at the office and when I introduce myself as Captain Carey's daughter I receive a glad welcome. The Colonel rings a bell and an aged beldame approaches, making a deep curtsy and offering me a beaker of milk, a crusty loaf, a few venison pasties, and a cold goose stuffed with humming birds. When I have reduced these to nothingness I ask if the yellow house on the outskirts of the village is still vacant, and the Colonel replies that it is, at which unexpected ...
— Mother Carey's Chickens • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... have pleased Prince Charming?' And Madame von Eisenthal swept him a deep curtsy with ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... li'l toads, same as you or I might be if happen we'd died unchristened an' hadn' no share in heaven nor hell nor middle-earth. But that's no excuse. Aun' Mary, my dear, I want my cheeld back!" said she. That was all Lovey prayed. Without more ado she bobbed a curtsy, crept from the chapel, closed the door, and way-to-go back to ...
— News from the Duchy • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... which it was charming to hear how my friend Samuel WOULD speak, what he called French, to a lady who could not understand one syllable of his jargon—the mutual hackney-coaches drew up; Madame la Baronne waved to the Captain a graceful French curtsy. "Adyou!" said Samuel, and waved his ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... and, entering into the spirit of the thing, swept as grand a curtsy as her limited ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... went to the door. He met the landlady just entering with a basket of eggs in her hand. She dropped him a curtsy. ...
— The Odds - And Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... grimness faded from the wrinkled old face, and the housekeeper, for this her appearance proclaimed her to be, bowed in a queer Victorian fashion which suggested that a curtsy might follow. One did not follow, however. "I am sure I apologize, sir," she said. "Benson did not tell ...
— Fire-Tongue • Sax Rohmer

... cheerfulness about the parlor, like the circle of reflected brilliancy around the glass vase of flowers that was standing in the sunshine. He made a salutation, or, to speak nearer the truth, an ill-defined, abortive attempt at curtsy. Imperfect as it was, however, it conveyed an idea, or, at least, gave a hint, of indescribable grace, such as no practised art of external manners could have attained. It was too slight to seize upon at the instant; yet, as recollected afterwards, seemed to transfigure ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... fender are polished to exquisite brightness, a Brussels carpet spreads the floor, a bright surbase encircles the room; upon the flossy hearth-rug lies crouched the little canine pet, which Aunt Dolly has washed to snowy whiteness. Aunt Dolly enters the room with a low curtsy, gently raises the poodle, then lays him down as carefully as if he were an heir to the estate. Master is happy, "missus" is happy, and Aunt Dolly is happy; and the large bookcase, filled with well-selected volumes, adds to the air of ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... a stately curtsy, and, taking her candle, went away through the tapestry door, which led to her apartments. Esmond stood by the fireplace, blankly staring after her. Indeed, he scarce seemed to see until she was gone, and then ...
— The Literary World Seventh Reader • Various

... expected to—to—solicit the honour of my becoming his wife. How I laughed behind their backs! It would have been time enough to turn rebellious when the offer came—which I was quite sure never would come—to make them and him a low curtsy, and say, 'You are very kind, but I must decline the honour.' Did you get any teasings on your side, ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... he a'n't, Doctor,—an' dere's where I 'gree wid him," said Candace, as she gathered her baskets vigorously together, and, after a sweeping curtsy, went sailing down to her wagon, full laden with content, shouting a hearty "Good mornin', Missus," with the full power of her cheerful lungs, as ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various

... was made up of modern French songs which Kitty sang enchantingly, and at last her frigid public was thoroughly aroused. While she was coming back again and again to smile and curtsy, McKann whispered to his wife that if there were to be encores he had better make ...
— Youth and the Bright Medusa • Willa Cather

... in a sweeping impetuosity, drew up her slender height, and made him a curtsy, a flower bending buoyantly to the breeze, ...
— The Silver Butterfly • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... Dropping him a curtsy, Trudy repaired to do the dishes and swiggle an oil mop about the floor briefly. Then she burnt some scented powder and pulled down the window shades. This constituted getting the establishment in order, the slavey having gone tootling ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... four Olga Loschek was announced. She made the curtsy inside the door that Palace ceremonial demanded and inquired for the governess. Prince Ferdinand William Otto, who had risen at her entrance, offered to see ...
— Long Live the King • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... then went very lovingly together to an inn upon the paven stones, where Moll asked very readily at the bar if Mr. Tompkins (which was the name of her uncle) was there. The woman of the house made her a low curtsy and said he was only stepped over the way to be shaved, and she would call him. She went accordingly and brought the grave old man, who as soon as he came into the room said, Well, Mary, is this thy husband? Yes, sir, ...
— Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences • Arthur L. Hayward

... Burke saw me," she says, "and he bowed with the most marked civility of manner." This, be it observed, was just after his opening speech, a speech which had produced a mighty effect, and which certainly, no other orator that ever lived could have made. "My curtsy," she continues, "was the most ungrateful, distant and cold; I could not do otherwise; so hurt I felt to see him the head of such a cause." Now, not only had Burke treated her with constant kindness, but the very last act which he performed on the day on which he was turned out of the Pay ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... quick, puzzling glance, and as we were commanded at that instant to salute our partners, she swept me a half-curtsy that made me grit my teeth, though I tried to make my own bow quite as elaborate and mocking. I couldn't make her out at all during that dance. Whenever we came together there was that little air of mockery in every move she made, and yet something in her eyes seemed to invite and ...
— The Range Dwellers • B. M. Bower

... said Miss Deborah, who had dropped her nephew's arm, so that she might be more cautious about the mud, and who lifted her skirt on each side, as though she was about to make a curtsy,—"he's right: a woman ought to think just as her husband does; it is quite wrong in dear Helen not to, and it will bring unhappiness. Indeed, it is a lesson to ...
— John Ward, Preacher • Margaret Deland

... lady was quick-eyed, and threw a nod and a "How do you do?" in the nick of time. In spite of her shabby bonnet and very old Indian shawl, it was plain that the lodge-keeper regarded her as an important personage, from the low curtsy which was dropped on the entrance of ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... and shocked, therefore, at finding the lithe, dashing ensign transformed into a corpulent old general, with a double chin; though it was a perfect picture to witness their salutations; the graciousness of her profound curtsy, and the air of the old school with which the general took off his hat, swayed it gently in his hand, ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... her sleek hair and some flicker of a girlhood that had its modicum of grace, flared up in the swift curtsy with which she acknowledged ...
— The Maid of the Whispering Hills • Vingie E. Roe

... genuflections and holy-water dipping are indulged in. Some of the congregation do the business gracefully; others get through it like the very grandfather of awkwardness. The Irish, who often come first and sit last, are solemnly whimsical in their movements. The women dip fast and curtsy briskly; the men turn their hands in and out as if prehensile mysticism was a saving thing, and bow less rapidly but more angularly than the females; then you have the slender young lady who knows what deportment and reverence mean; ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

... have been wrongfully condemned." My own experience in the law courts leads me to accept these statements without reserve, and I regard as one of the gravest scandals of our present penal system the ease with which a girl who makes a pretty curtsy to the court, and who appears to be shamefaced when giving her evidence, is believed by the judge or magistrate. The dangers involved in this are obvious to many, especially to those who have much to do with children. An actor personally known ...
— The Sexual Life of the Child • Albert Moll

... you, sir. (She sits down after an awe-stricken curtsy to Burgoyne, which he acknowledges by a ...
— The Devil's Disciple • George Bernard Shaw

... thing for me to do. You might have been somebody else—a real Excellency—or heaven knows what! Or, what is worse in your new magnificence, you might have forgotten one of your oldest, most humble, but faithful subjects." She drew back and made him a mock ceremonious curtsy, that even in its charming exaggeration suggested to Paul, however, that she had ...
— A Ward of the Golden Gate • Bret Harte

... the Black Watch, and once Orderly to Garth himself—brings out her ain bottle from the spence—a hollow square, and green as emerald. Bless the gurgle of its honest mouth! With prim lips mine hostess kisses the glass, previously letting fall a not inelegant curtsy—for she had, we now learned, been a lady's maid in her youth to one who is indeed a lady, all the time her lover was abroad in the army, in Egypt, Ireland, and the West Indies, and Malta, and Guernsey, Sicily, Portugal, Holland, and, we think she said, Corfu. ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... Rodney's chair to offer him her hand and drop her curtsy; took a carnation from a bowl on the table and tucked it into his button-hole, slid her arm around his ...
— The Real Adventure • Henry Kitchell Webster

... completely overcast. In dumb despair Elena stared at the thick network of fast-falling drops. Her last hope of getting a sight of Insarov was vanishing. A little old beggar-woman came into the chapel, shook herself, said with a curtsy: 'Out of the rain, good lady,' and with many sighs and groans sat down on a ledge near the well. Elena put her hand into her pocket; the old woman noticed this action and a light came into her face, yellow and wrinkled now, though once handsome. 'Thank you, dear gracious lady,' she ...
— On the Eve • Ivan Turgenev

... No, I can't say I'm shedding tears myself unless they're crocodile ones. Please to recollect in future, my dears, when you speak to me, that you're addressing a member of the Upper School! You're only little Junior girls! Ta-ta!" and with a mock curtsy, in process of which she nearly dropped her pile of books, Gwen retired laughing from the Fourth Form to take her place and try her luck ...
— The Youngest Girl in the Fifth - A School Story • Angela Brazil

... running up in an instant and opened the doors. "What are your graces' orders?" she asked, dropping a curtsy and scraping the ground ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... on two long benches made of split logs. Abe led Nat down the length of the front bench. Each girl rose and made a curtsy. Nat bowed. Each boy rose and bowed. Nat returned the bow. Abe kept saying funny things under his breath that the schoolmaster could not hear. But the children heard, and they could hardly keep from ...
— Abe Lincoln Gets His Chance • Frances Cavanah

... the empress excelling in that inclination of the body which the Russian ladies substitute for the curtsy, and which he justly regards as very becoming, the empress adding dignity and grace. He describes Orloff as an herculean figure, finely proportioned, with a cheerful eye, and, for a Russian, a good complexion: Potemkin as having stature and shoulders, but being ill limbed and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLII. Vol. LV. April, 1844 • Various

... an elderly woman, rolling pastry, paused to curtsy to them, with stolid curiosity in her heavy-featured face. In her character as "single-handed" cook, Mrs. Noakes had sent up uninviting meals to Lady Anstruthers for several years, but she had not seen her ladyship below stairs before. And this was the unexpected ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... a slight blush, and curtsy, concluded the interview; and the young ladies hastily left the shop. Mr. Bobbinet was disappointed, as, indeed, was Col. Silky, who was present, en amateur; but the matter could not be helped, as these were customers who acted and thought ...
— Autobiography of a Pocket-Hankerchief • James Fenimore Cooper

... her. Besides, Tartar was again rising; he perceived symptoms of a commotion; he manifested a disposition to join in. There was evidently nothing for it but to go, and Donne made his exodus, the heiress sweeping him a deep curtsy as she closed the gates ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... very well with poor people, George. It's very dreadful, I know, but there!—I'm not Lady Maxwell—and I can't help it. Of course, with the poor people at home in our own cottages it's different—they always curtsy and are very respectful—but Mrs. Matthews says the people here are so independent, and think nothing of being rude to you if they don't ...
— Sir George Tressady, Vol. I • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... much noise and not a little stench, to the real joy of most of the women present, who don't dislike an opportunity of finding fault. Lady Lucy, indeed, was plentifully abused, and Mr Hobart had his share; and common fame says he has never had a card since. Few women will curtsy to him; and I question if he ever will lead any one to their chair again as long as he lives. I leave you to judge how deeply he feels this wound. Every body says it would never have happened if you had not retired to ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844 • Various

... gate towards herself and, crushed behind it, curtsied to Thomas Batchgrew. This curtsy, the most servile of all Western salutations, and now nearly unknown in Five Towns, consisted in a momentary shortening of the stature by six inches, and in nothing else. Mrs. Tams had acquired it in her native village of Sneyd, where an earl held fast to that ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... year can effect an enormous alteration in a girl in her late teens—sometimes seeming to transform her all at once from immature girlhood into gracious and charming womanhood. Lady Doreen had "come out" since Ann had met her, made her curtsy at Court and taken part in her first London season, and it was not difficult to imagine her, delicate though she might be, as extremely attractive and invested with a certain ethereal grace and ...
— The Vision of Desire • Margaret Pedler

... more gratified than Aunt Rachel, who had hitherto looked rather askance upon the presumptuous damsel (as much so, peradventure, as her nature would permit), but who, on the first appearance of the new-married pair at church, honoured the bride with a smile and a profound curtsy, in presence of the rector, the curate, the clerk, and the whole congregation of the united parishes of Waverley ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... to hear his words. Rosalind tripped past her three fellow-students with an airy little nod and the faint beginning of a mocking curtsy. ...
— A Sweet Girl Graduate • Mrs. L.T. Meade

... are,' retorted Miss Squeers with a low curtsy, 'almost as witty, ma'am, as you are clever. How very clever it was in you, ma'am, to choose a time when I had gone to tea with my pa, and was sure not to come back without being fetched! What a pity you never thought that other people might be as clever as yourself ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... father," said the Maid of the Mill, dropping as low a curtsy as her rustic manners enabled her to make. The Miller, her father, doffed his bonnet, and made his reverence, not altogether so low perhaps as if the young lady had appeared in the pride of rank and riches, yet so as to give high birth the due homage which the Scotch ...
— The Monastery • Sir Walter Scott

... Madame Cheron, while she spoke, would have touched almost any other heart; she made no other reply, but introduced Valancourt, who could scarcely stifle the resentment he felt, and whose bow Madame Cheron returned with a slight curtsy, and a look of supercilious examination. After a few moments he took leave of Emily, in a manner, that hastily expressed his pain both at his own departure, and at leaving her to the society of ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... wonderful to behold, with their superb strappings and dazzling runners curving over the instep and topped with gilt balls, he would open his fat eyes a little if one of the maidens chanced to drop him a curtsy but would not dare to bow in return for fear of ...
— Hans Brinker - or The Silver Skates • Mary Mapes Dodge

... to her. She regarded it, clasped it in the hand which was against her bosom, and at length dropped a curtsy, though ...
— Thyrza • George Gissing

... elsewhere. It is not so strange-looking, the kneeling to a royal lady, but to see a stately mother or some soft maiden rendering such an act of homage to a chit of a boy or a gross young gentleman impresses one unpleasantly. The curtsy of a lady to a prince or princess is something between kneeling and that queer genuflection one meets in the English agricultural districts: the props of the boys and girls seem momentarily to be knocked away, and they suddenly catch themselves ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 30. September, 1873 • Various

... and the Captain were sitting side by side, and the Gulab, when she had finished the song, had swept her sinuous lithe form back in a graceful curtsy in front of the two, and, as if by accident, a red rose had floated to the feet of Captain Barlow. Surely her soft, dark, languorous ...
— Caste • W. A. Fraser

... St. James's, and a ball at night; both repeated to-day, for the Queen's birthday. On Thursday they go to the play; on Friday the Queen gives them a ball and dinner at her house; on Saturday they dine with the Princess at Kew, and return for the Opera; and on Wednesday—why, they make their bow and curtsy, and sail. ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume I • Horace Walpole

... see a gentleman without his peruke. William must have had a very large business. One likes to think that Major Washington dealt with Sewell, and it is not difficult to imagine on ball evenings Mrs. Carlyle's maid rushing in, making a hasty curtsy and breathlessly demanding Madam's wig; or perhaps Mrs. Fairfax's maid presents Mrs. Fairfax's compliments and "Please, will Mr. Sewell come at two o'clock to dress Mistress Fairfax's hair?" Nor, is it difficult to picture William, when the shop day is ...
— Seaport in Virginia - George Washington's Alexandria • Gay Montague Moore

... Katherine swept her a curtsy. "Now that is a compliment most flatteringly paid. Really, Nellie, I don't see how you can expect me to be properly humble-minded if you say things of that sort, for you are such a dear, sincere little person that every word you speak carries conviction with it. But Miles ...
— A Countess from Canada - A Story of Life in the Backwoods • Bessie Marchant

... neighboring farm-houses and villas, the residences of her friends, in all of whom she seemed to have the most affectionate interest. I noticed, as the village children went by her window, they all stopped to bow and curtsy. One curly-headed urchin made bold to take off his well-worn cap and wait to be recognized as "little Johnny,"—"no great scholar," said the kind-hearted old lady to me, "but a sad rogue among our flock of geese. Only yesterday, the young marauder was detected ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 35, September, 1860 • Various

... trick or two, would turn Their flanks;—but it is hardly worth my while, With such small gear to give myself concern: Indeed I've not the necessary bile; My natural temper's really aught but stern, And even my Muse's worst reproof's a smile; And then she drops a brief and modern curtsy, And glides away, assured she never ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... sir," said Eppie dropping a curtsy; "but I can't leave my father, nor own anybody ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IV. • Editors: Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... well educated, could forbear playing the Wanton with Servants, and idle fellows, of which this Town, says she, is too full: At the same time, Whether she knew enough of Breeding, as that if a Squire or a Gentleman, or one that was her Betters, should give her a civil Salute, she should curtsy and be humble, nevertheless. Her innocent forsooths, yess, and't please yous, and she would do her Endeavour, moved the good old Lady to take her out of the Hands of a Country Bumpkin her Brother, and hire her for her own Maid. I staid till I saw them all marched out to take Coach; ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... at last, entered the wicket-gate, and approached the small, weather-stained, brick house. She made her curtsy to madam, asked the Vicar's blessing—though he was not twenty-five years her senior and scarcely so wise—hugged the little girls, particularly sick Fiddy, and showered upon them pretty tasteful town treasures, ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler



Words linked to "Curtsy" :   motion, reverence, curtsey, recognize, bob, greet, recognise, bow down, gesture, bow



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