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Curtsey   Listen
Curtsey

verb
1.
Bend the knees in a gesture of respectful greeting.  Synonym: curtsy.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Curtsey" Quotes from Famous Books



... disdain poured out upon the involuntary blunders or accidental disadvantages of those whom it chooses to treat as its inferiors. Thus a fashionable Miss titters till she is ready to burst her sides at the uncouth shape of a bonnet or the abrupt drop of a curtsey (such as Jeanie Deans would make) in a country-girl who comes to be hired by her Mamma as a servant; yet to show how little foundation there is for this hysterical expression of her extreme good opinion of herself and contempt for the ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... had made a success—she had made a tremendous success. Do you think I was going to let her remain there after that, and spoil the effect? No, indeed! I took my charming little Capri maiden—my capricious little Capri maiden, I should say—on my arm; took one quick turn round the room; a curtsey on either side, and, as they say in novels, the beautiful apparition disappeared. An exit ought always to be effective, Mrs. Linde; but that is what I cannot make Nora understand. Pooh! this room is hot. (Throws ...
— A Doll's House • Henrik Ibsen

... do not fight," she urged. "I am not worthy, and 't is all unneeded. Captain de Croix," and she swept him a curtsey which had the grace of a drawing-room in it, "'t is indeed most strange that we should meet again in such a spot as this. No contrast could be greater than the memory of our last parting. Yet is there any cause for quarrel because this young ...
— When Wilderness Was King - A Tale of the Illinois Country • Randall Parrish

... manners to, that you come into the parlour without a curtsey?" said she. "And indeed, I must ask you to excuse her, ma'am, for she's but a nobody's girl from the village, and doesn't know how ...
— The White Riband - A Young Female's Folly • Fryniwyd Tennyson Jesse

... a sharp-faced woman stood in their path, with a little girl in her hand, and arrested them with a low curtsey, and not a very pleasant voice, addressing herself to Flora, who was quite as tall as Richard, and appeared ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... all her own children out of sight during this first visit, that Mr Hope might not see too many faces at once. She admitted only Hester and Margaret, and Alice, who brought him some refreshment. The girl made him a low curtsey, and looked at him with an expression of awe and pleasure, which brought tears into the eyes of even her mistress. Mr Hope had been a benefactor to this girl. He had brought her through a fever. She had of late little expected ever to see him again. Mr Hope replied ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... continue the whole night, for presently she was requested by one of the attachs to come and be presented to the Grand Duke, and when she had made her curtsey the suite came up ...
— His Hour • Elinor Glyn

... was on again, on again, that dear old dance. It dried the tears in the tender eyes and held the smile on the joyous lips. Then, as suddenly as it had begun, the dance ceased, a flushed face confronted the reflection in the glass, and a low curtsey followed, while a reverent voice ...
— The Place Beyond the Winds • Harriet T. Comstock

... could only get you and the Captain seated; yer honer," and she turned round with a curtsey to Ussher, "there's Denis and Pat there will do nothing in life to help me!" and the poor woman seemed at her wit's end to know how to arrange ...
— The Macdermots of Ballycloran • Anthony Trollope

... as if I had been a grown-up lady at Court,' thought Joyce, delighted, with the delight of thirteen, at her own unexpected importance. Her father had never paid her so much attention before. Well, at least he should see that she was worthy of it now. And Joyce dropped her lowest, most formal, curtsey, as the stranger bowed low over her hand. To curtsey at the edge of a flight of steps, and in a clinging riding skirt, was an accomplishment of which anyone might be proud. Was the stranger properly impressed? He appeared ...
— A Book of Quaker Saints • Lucy Violet Hodgkin

... Margaret-Mary made a little curtsey and Teddy made a manly bow, and then they took their purple camels and left the tree on the table with its one ...
— The Tin Soldier • Temple Bailey

... nearly frightened out of her wits, made a sort of curtsey, while the father took off ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume VIII. • Guy de Maupassant

... for some minutes in silence, till the clergyman, having put off his surplice, passed us with a bow and went out; and the pew-opener, after pretending to polish the door-handle with her apron, and otherwise waiting about with an air of fidgety politeness, dropped a civil curtsey, and begged to remind us that the chapel ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... Ermine," with a significant curtsey, "I'm thinkin' ye ken my maister Colin amaist as weel as I do. He's the true son of his forbears, an' Gowanbrae used to be always open in the auld lord's time, that's his grandfather Foreby, that he owes so ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... afar the fairest lady that ever I looked upon; and truly, he said, I ask no better quarrel than now for to do battle, for truly she shall be my lady, and for her I will fight. And ever he looked up to the window with glad countenance, and the Lady Lionesse made curtsey to him down to the earth, with holding up both ...
— Le Morte D'Arthur, Volume I (of II) - King Arthur and of his Noble Knights of the Round Table • Thomas Malory

... disagreeable things—but some plain sewing that I had not touched for some time, and took it downstairs to the library. I heard voices as I opened the door, grandmamma was sitting at the writing-table speaking to the cook, who stood beside her, a rather fat, pleasant-looking woman, who made a little curtsey when she saw me. But grandmamma looked up, ...
— My New Home • Mary Louisa Molesworth

... comes forward.) Ah, 'ere's a young lady who's bustin' with melody, I can see. Your name, my dear? Ladies and Gentleman, I have the pleasure to announce that Miss CONNIE COCKLE will now appear. Don't curtsey till the Orchestra gives the chord. (Chord from the harmonium—the Child advances, and curtsies with much aplomb.) Oh, lor! call that a curtsey—that's a cramp, that is! Do it all over again! (The Child obeys, disconcerted.) ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, August 6, 1892 • Various

... towards our guests. As we drew nigh Mr. Petulengro took off his hat, and made a profound obeisance to Belle, whilst Mrs. Petulengro rose from the stool, and made a profound curtsey. Belle, who had flung her hair back over her shoulders, returned their salutations by bending her head, and after slightly glancing at Mr. Petulengro, fixed her large blue eyes full upon his wife. Both these females were very handsome—but how unlike! Belle fair, with ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... open-mouthed the whirling figure of Miss Helena Pitstone, as, singing to herself, and absorbed apparently in some new and complicated steps, she danced down the whole length of the drawing-room and back again. Then out of breath, with a curtsey and a laugh, she laid a sudden hand ...
— Helena • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... last question. I do not intend to cut the manager of the Princess's Theatre; but I do not intend either to make any application to him. If he offers me a reasonable weekly engagement, I will take it, and make him a curtsey; if he does not, I will do without it, and live as I best may on what I have already earned, and what I can earn in the provinces, ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... Lucy, with her old-fashioned politeness, was to see the second stranger who had followed the Contessa into the room, but who had not been introduced or noticed. She had the air of being very young—a dependent probably, and looking for no attention—and with a little curtsey to the company, withdrew to the other side of the table on which the lamp was standing. Lucy had only time to see that there was a second figure, very slim and slight, and that the light of the lamp seemed to reflect itself ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... as any rose; and the tears' that had been in her eyes seemed turned to sparks of fire. She rose from the table and made a deep curtsey to Mr. Dacre. ...
— Andrew Golding - A Tale of the Great Plague • Anne E. Keeling

... broke in, with a smile and a curtsey, "no tryst have I kept, in sooth. Sir Guy is my witness that he found ...
— The Panchronicon • Harold Steele Mackaye

... choose always to be a hermit crab, partly out of curiosity to see the unusual gathering. Having crawled out of his selfish shell far enough to grace the occasion, he took another step when Nancy asked him to dance. It was pretty to see her curtsey when she put the question, pretty to see the air of triumph with which she led him to the head of the line, and positively delightful to the onlookers to see Hen Lord doing right and left, ladies' chain, balance to opposite and cast ...
— Mother Carey's Chickens • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... wants are provided for, even anticipated. He is the first person to be considered wherever he goes. Men who have won renown in Parliament, in the camp, in literature, doff their hats at his coming, and high-born ladies curtsey. ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... my mother's, and the other my father's, sir,' said Gladys, rising and presenting the coat with a deep curtsey. ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... up her traine, her haire stucke with flowers: One before her carrying a silver Hynde, in which is conveyd Incense and sweet odours, which being set upon the Altar (of Diana) her maides standing a loofe, she sets fire to it; then they curtsey and kneele.] ...
— The Two Noble Kinsmen • William Shakespeare and John Fletcher [Apocrypha]

... over. "An' I wish you joy av the perjury," sez she, duckin' a curtsey. "You've lost a woman that would ha' wore her hand to the bone for your pleasure; an' 'deed, Terence, ye were not thrapped..." Lascelles must ha' spoken plain to her. "I am such as Dinah is—'deed I am! Ye've lost a fool av a girl that'll niver look at you again, an' ye've lost what ...
— Life's Handicap • Rudyard Kipling

... grassy pasture slope she dropped me a curtsey, declining very shyly to let me carry ...
— Police!!! • Robert W. Chambers

... Theobald, frankly, waving me forward. "This is a friend, and a lover of the arts," he added, introducing me. I received a smile, a curtsey, and a request ...
— The Madonna of the Future • Henry James

... door opened, and a portly fair dame, with fair hair and a pleasant smile on her countenance, entered the room. "Who are you inquiring for, young man?" said she, dropping a sort of curtsey. ...
— Will Weatherhelm - The Yarn of an Old Sailor • W.H.G. Kingston

... in the midst of our rejoicing that Piers set foot on the verandah. For a moment he stood staring, pardonably bewildered, at the two smugglers, who were saluting one another respectively with a profound curtsey and the most elaborate of bows. Then he pulled open the great window and stepped hesitatingly into ...
— Jonah and Co. • Dornford Yates

... her, his brows working mischievously. "Mais pourquoi pas, mignonne? You are old enough. Maud will come and be hostess, won't you, Maud? You shall have Jake too for a watch-dog, if you want him. After that, you shall be presented at Court, when you've learnt to curtsey prettily instead of turning somersaults. You must let your hair grow, Nonette, and leave off wearing breeks. You've got to be ...
— Charles Rex • Ethel M. Dell

... you move? I find it in my heart to pity you! We are both women after all - poor girl, poor girl! - and who is born a woman is born a fool. And though I hate all women - come, for the common folly, I forgive you. Your Highness' - she dropped a deep stage curtsey and resumed her fan - 'I am going to insult you, to betray one who is called my lover, and if it pleases you to use the power I now put unreservedly into your hands, to ruin my dear self. O what a French comedy! You betray, I betray, they betray. It is now my cue. The letter, ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... standing by, till the rest were gone. Then she took the last loaf left in the basket, the smallest of the lot. She looked up to the window where the gentleman stood; smiled at him; threw him a kiss, and made a low curtsey in token of her gratitude, and ...
— The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young • Richard Newton

... nice," she said aloud, with a little curtsey to the radiant reflection. "It is all the dress, I know. I feel like a queen in it—no, like a ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902 to 1903 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... giving him a "bit of her mind." The result was, declared the San Francisco Alta, "the Countess came off the victor, bearing away the bravas and bouquets. At the conclusion of her address she was hailed by thunderous cheers, amid which she smiled sweetly, dropped a curtsey, ...
— The Magnificent Montez - From Courtesan to Convert • Horace Wyndham

... awaiting the arrival of visitors. Lord Carse's sister, Lady Rachel Ballino, was there, surrounded by her nephews and nieces. As they came in, one after another, dressed for company, and made their bow or curtsey at the door, their aunt gave them permission to sit down till the arrival of the first guest, after which time it would be a matter of course that they should stand. Miss Janet and her brothers sat down on their low stools, at some distance from each other; but little Miss Flora ...
— The Billow and the Rock • Harriet Martineau

... lifetimes ago—it is quite certain that there are now living hundreds, perhaps thousands, of persons born when others were still living who drew their first breaths in or before the year when Pamela made her modest, but very distinctly self-conscious, curtsey to the world. How soon it grew to a popular form of literature, and how steadily that popularity has continued and increased, there is not much need to say or to repeat. Statistical persons every year give us the ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... us to send it early," said Lady Sarah, "before we had done our work." They all kissed her affectionately, and then she was again in her husband's arms. Mrs. Toff curtseyed to her most respectfully. Mary observed the curtsey and reminded herself at the moment that Mrs. Toff had never curtseyed to her before. Even the tall footman in knee-breeches stood back with a demeanour which had hitherto been vouchsafed only to the real ladies of the family. Who could tell how soon that wicked Marquis would ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... can be a Sizar, or a Servitor. When the peacock vein rises, I strut a Gentleman Commoner. In graver moments, I proceed Master of Arts. Indeed I do not think I am much unlike that respectable character. I have seen your dim-eyed vergers, and bed-makers in spectacles drop a bow or curtsey as I pass, wisely mistaking me for something of the sort. I go about in black, which favours the notion. Only in Christ Church reverend quadrangle I can be content to pass for nothing ...
— Charles Lamb • Walter Jerrold

... response to the half-friendly, half-mocking curtsey she gave him, and, turning to me ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... Pippin Hill, Pippin Hill was dirty; There I met a sweet pretty lass, And she dropped me a curtsey. ...
— Mother Goose or the Old Nursery Rhymes • Various

... forte; he leaves that to Mr. Everard Arlington," she said saucily, with a low curtsey and a ...
— Isabel Leicester - A Romance • Clotilda Jennings

... on the top and the pyramid below it swayed once or twice, and threatened to crush either the Sansovino's Library or the Basilica of San Marco in their fall, then the whole colossus subsided gently, almost noiselessly, upon itself, as it were in a curtsey, the ruined brick and mortar spread out in a pyramidal heap, a dense column of white powder rose from the Piazza, and ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 7 - Italy, Sicily, and Greece (Part One) • Various

... England, disposed of certain troublesome restrictions of etiquette by remarking that "nice customs curtsey to great kings:" but in the twentieth century, customs are more likely to curtsey to the common sense of ...
— Etiquette • Agnes H. Morton

... out into the roadway. "Good-evening, Mr. Rosewarne, and glad to see you back and in health!" She dropped him a curtsey. "If you've a minute ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... as 'My daughter Harriet,' and made a stiff curtsey as Mrs. Moss smiled, and nodded, and bade her 'sit down, my dear.' Throughout the whole interview she seemed to be looked upon by both ladies as a child, and played the part so well, sitting prim and silent on her chair, that I could hardly help ...
— Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... I wouldn't," said Mrs. Taylour, firmly. "I'd have my head cut off first, especially before I'd curtsey to ...
— Lady Betty Across the Water • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... creature, I was emboldened to make her a low bow. At first she smiled, like one who fancies she recognises an acquaintance; then her face became scarlet, and she returned my bow with a very lady-like, but, at the same time, a very distant curtsey; upon which, bending her blue eyes to the ground, she turned away, seemingly to speak to her companion. After this, I could not advance to speak, though I was strongly in hopes the old black nurse who was with her would recognise ...
— Satanstoe • James Fenimore Cooper

... accused party on his first appearance in presence of his judge, before whom he is, nevertheless, determined to assert his innocence. Her arms were folded, her mouth primmed into an expression of respect, mingled with obstinacy, her whole mind apparently bent up to the solemn interview. With her best curtsey to the ground, and a mute motion of reverence, Mause pointed to the chair, which, on former occasions, Lady Margaret (for the good lady was somewhat of a gossip) had deigned to occupy for half an hour sometimes at a time, hearing ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... degree, terminated in hands so very sunburnt as to convey the impression of a pair of remarkably well-fitting gloves. Her right hand grasped and waved with determination a large lace fan, her left clutched fiercely the front of her skirt. With a sweeping curtsey to herself in the glass, which would have been more effective could she have avoided tying her legs together with her skirt—a contretemps necessitating the use of both hands and a succession of jumps before ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... disgust; and further, what to Betty's surprise seemed a hostile look of defiance. The face cleared, however, as she saw who stood before her; a great softening and a little light came into it; she rose and dropped a curtsey, which was evidently not a ...
— A Red Wallflower • Susan Warner

... arose and made a polite curtsey, after which they resumed their seats and rearranged ...
— The Patchwork Girl of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... want of vogue. Not that we suppose him to have found consolation in that senseless superstition, "the applause of posterity." Posterity! posterity which goes to Rome, weeps large-sized tears, carves beautiful inscriptions over the tomb of Keats; and the worm must wriggle her curtsey to it all, since the dead boy, wherever he be, has quite other gear to tend. Never a bone less ...
— Shelley - An Essay • Francis Thompson

... Spinrobin have need of anything, that," indicating it, "is the bell that rings in the housekeeper's room. Mrs. Mawle can see it wag, though she can't hear it. Day or night," she added with a faint curtsey, "and no trouble at all, just as with ...
— The Human Chord • Algernon Blackwood

... roofs almost touching, as if in secret conference; some falling upon one another as if they were drunk, some leaning backward between others that lean forward, like malefactors dragged onward by their guards; rows of houses that curtsey to a steeple, groups of small houses all inclined toward one in the middle, like ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 4 (of 10) • Various

... how he appreciates that compliment," he said, "and as for me and all the other sons of Adam, oh, fair layde, I make my bow!" Springing to his feet, he swept her an elaborate curtsey, holding out his coat as if it were the ball-gown of some stately ...
— The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor • Annie Fellows Johnston

... off the platform, and the band began to tune up. And the boy who had been sent off the platform to his bobbin frame went up to the pretty girl who had laughed at his oratorical efforts and asked her to dance. She made a mocking curtsey, and refused his request, and John who knew both of them said, "Don't be so saucy, Polly. Samuel will do better next time." But Polly with a little ...
— The Measure of a Man • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... lavishly generous. The chief merit of her figure lay in this particular, that she "bridled" well. Yes, it is true, we have almost forgotten the old accomplishment of "bridling"—the head up and the chin in, with the pliant knees bent in a low curtsey. Dulcie "bridled," as she prattled, to perfection. She had light brown hair, of the tint of a squirrel's fur, and the smoothness of a mouse's coat, though it was twisted and twirled into a kind of soft willowy curls when she was ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... heads downward! The antipathies, I think—" (she was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word) "—but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma'am, is this New Zealand? Or Australia?" (and she tried to curtsey as she spoke—fancy, curtseying as you're falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) "And what an ignorant little girl she'll think me for asking! No, it'll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written ...
— Junior Classics, V6 • Various

... Vane, and as she came near the door he pushed forward a little so that he came in full view. For the moment he thought she was going to pass without seeing him, and then their eyes met. She paused and faltered, and then swinging round sank gracefully to the floor in the approved style of curtsey to show ...
— Mufti • H. C. (Herman Cyril) McNeile



Words linked to "Curtsey" :   curtsy, reverence, bow, motion, gesture



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