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curtsy (n.)

1540s, "expression of respect," a variant of courtesy (q.v.). Specific meaning "a bending the knee and lowering the body as a gesture of respect" is from 1570s. Originally not exclusively feminine.

curtsy (v.)

"make a curtsy," 1550s, from curtsy (n.). Related: Curtsied; curtsying.

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Definitions of curtsy from WordNet
1
curtsy (v.)
bend the knees in a gesture of respectful greeting;
Synonyms: curtsey
curtsy (v.)
make a curtsy; usually done only by girls and women; as a sign of respect;
She curtsied when she shook the Queen's hand
Synonyms: bob
2
curtsy (n.)
bending the knees; a gesture of respect made by women;
Synonyms: curtsey
From wordnet.princeton.edu