courtship


courtship
/kawrt"ship, kohrt"-/, n.
1. the wooing of one person by another.
2. the period during which such wooing takes place.
3. solicitation of favors, applause, etc.
4. Ethology. behavior in animals that occurs before and during mating, often including elaborate displays.
5. Obs. courtly behavior; courtesy; gallantry.
[1580-90; COURT + -SHIP]

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      in animals, behaviour that results in mating and eventual reproduction. Courtship may be rather simple, involving a small number of chemical, visual, or auditory stimuli; or it may be a highly complex series of acts by two or more individuals, using several modes of communication.

      Many creatures resort to courtship feeding to attract a mate. Females of some insect species, such as the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), may use odorous substances called pheromones to attract males from a distance. Male painted turtles (Chrysemys species) court by touch, and the courtship songs of frogs (Rana species) are heard on spring nights across much of the world.

      Complex courtship patterns are found in certain bird species. Boobies (booby) perform ritualized dances with many components, including whistling and an elaborate gesture known to ornithologists as sky-pointing. The more elaborate forms of courtship frequently help strengthen a pair bond that may last through the raising of the young or even longer. Another important function of courtship is its use as an isolating mechanism, a method of keeping different species from interbreeding. (See also display behaviour.)

      Human courtship, although it springs from the same drives and is directed at the same goals, is so molded by cultural context that it is commonly thought of in terms of custom rather than instinct.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Courtship — is the period in a couple s relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or… …   Wikipedia

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  • courtship — 1570s, behavior of a courtier, from COURT (Cf. court) + SHIP (Cf. ship). Meaning paying court to a woman with intention of marriage is from 1590s …   Etymology dictionary

  • courtship — [n] dating, romance courting, engagement, keeping company*, love, lovemaking, pursuit, suit, wooing; concept 388 …   New thesaurus

  • courtship — ► NOUN 1) a period of courting. 2) the courting behaviour of male birds and other animals. 3) the action of courting …   English terms dictionary

  • courtship — [kôrt′ship΄] n. the activity or period of courting or wooing …   English World dictionary

  • courtship — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ long ▪ brief, whirlwind ▪ After a whirlwind courtship, they married and went to live in Bath. VERB + COURTSHIP ▪ initiate …   Collocations dictionary

  • courtship — [[t]kɔ͟ː(r)tʃɪp[/t]] courtships 1) N VAR Courtship is the activity of courting or the time during which a man and a woman are courting. [OLD FASHIONED] They were more interested in courtship and cars than in school... After a short courtship, she …   English dictionary

  • courtship — UK [ˈkɔː(r)tʃɪp] / US [ˈkɔrtˌʃɪp] noun Word forms courtship : singular courtship plural courtships 1) [countable/uncountable] the period of time when a man and a woman have a romantic relationship with each other, before they get married 2)… …   English dictionary

  • courtship — court|ship [ kɔrt,ʃıp ] noun 1. ) count or uncount the period of time when a man and a woman have a romantic relationship with each other, before they get married a ) an attempt to get someone s support, especially in business or politics:… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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