Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

court - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     court pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] legal a place where trials take place and legal cases are decided, especially in front of a judge and a jury or a magistrate.
    in court:

    The letter was read aloud in court.

    appear in court:

    Duggan will appear in court on Monday.

    1. a.

      the court

      [singular] the people in a court, especially the judge and jury

      A police officer told the court that he had seen Brown leaving the house.

      the evidence before the court (=being considered by the court)

    2. b.
      [only before noun] done by a court or relating to a court

      They are dropping their court case against him.

      She got a court injunction banning her husband from her home.

    3. c.
      [uncountable] used for referring to the process of taking a legal action against someone
      go to court (=begin a court case):

      She threatened to go to court if he did not pay up.

      take someone to court (=begin a case against someone):

      Lynn took her employers to court for compensation.

      come to court (=start to be discussed in court):

      It took five years for the case to come to court.

      settle out of court (=agree to pay someone in order to avoid a court case):

      Mr Lodge settled out of court for £50,000.

    4. d.

      the courts

      [plural] the system of courts that decide legal cases

      You can always try to get your money back through the courts.

      The courts ruled that the company are entitled to make a fair profit.

    See also court of appeal
  2. 2
    [countable] an area marked with lines where some sports are played, such as tennis and squash
    tennis/squash/basketball/badminton court:

    The hotel has two tennis courts.

    on court:

    The players had been on court for over two hours.

  3. 3
    [countable/uncountable] the place where a king or queen lives and works
    1. a.

      the court

      [singular] a king or queen, together with their family and their servants, advisers etc

      an influential member of the court of Henry VIII

  4. 4


    used in the names of large houses or blocks of flats

    They live at 27 Mallory Court.

  5. 5
    [countable] a courtyard
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play