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.

verb     court pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlecourting
past tensecourted
past participlecourted
  1. 1
    [transitive] to try to impress or please someone because you want them to help you in some way

    Suddenly, she’s being courted by newspapers and television reporters every night.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to make special efforts to get something that will benefit you

    For years they had been courting influence in Britain’s major companies.

    court publicity/popularity:

    He courted publicity and then complained about his loss of privacy.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to behave in a way that is likely to bring a bad result
    court disaster/danger/scandal:

    To ignore her advice would be courting disaster.

  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] old-fashioned to have a romantic relationship with someone, especially someone that you get married to later


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