Etymology
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court (n.)

late 12c., "formal assembly held by a sovereign," from Old French cort "king's court; princely residence" (11c., Modern French cour), from Latin cortem, accusative of cors (earlier cohors) "enclosed yard," and by extension (and perhaps by association with curia "sovereign's assembly"), "those assembled in the yard; company, cohort," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see com-) + stem hort- related to hortus "garden, plot of ground" (from PIE root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose").

Both senses of the Latin word emerged in English. From the purely physical sense come "palace, residence of a sovereign" (c. 1200), "enclosed space connected with a building or buildings" (early 14c.), and the sporting sense "smooth, level plot of ground on which a ball game is played" (1510s, originally of tennis). Also "short arm of a public street, enclosed on three sides by buildings" (1680s), formerly noted for poverty or as business districts.

From the notion of "surroundings of a sovereign in his regal state" (c. 1200) comes the legal meaning "a tribunal for judicial investigation" (c. 1300, early assemblies for justice were overseen by the sovereign personally), also "hall or chamber where justice is administered" (c. 1300). As an adjective, "pertaining to a court," late 13c.

Origin and meaning of court

court (v.)

1570s, "endeavor to gain the favor of by amorous attention," also "solicit, seek to win or attract," from court (n.), based on the sorts of behavior associated with royal courts. Related: Courted; courting.

Origin and meaning of court

updated on October 13, 2021

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Definitions of court from WordNet
1
court (n.)
an assembly (including one or more judges) to conduct judicial business;
Synonyms: tribunal / judicature
court (n.)
a room in which a lawcourt sits;
Synonyms: courtroom
court (n.)
the sovereign and his advisers who are the governing power of a state;
Synonyms: royal court
court (n.)
a specially marked horizontal area within which a game is played;
players had to reserve a court in advance
court (n.)
the family and retinue of a sovereign or prince;
Synonyms: royal court
court (n.)
a hotel for motorists; provides direct access from rooms to parking area;
Synonyms: motor hotel / motor inn / motor lodge / tourist court
court (n.)
a tribunal that is presided over by a magistrate or by one or more judges who administer justice according to the laws;
Synonyms: lawcourt / court of law / law court / court of justice
court (n.)
the residence of a sovereign or nobleman;
the king will visit the duke's court
court (n.)
an area wholly or partly surrounded by walls or buildings;
the house was built around an inner court
Synonyms: courtyard
court (n.)
respectful deference;
pay court to the emperor
Synonyms: homage
2
court (v.)
make amorous advances towards;
John is courting Mary
Synonyms: woo / romance / solicit
court (v.)
seek someone's favor;
Synonyms: woo
court (v.)
engage in social activities leading to marriage;
We were courting for over ten years
3
Court (n.)
Australian woman tennis player who won many major championships (born in 1947);
Synonyms: Margaret Court
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.