Definition of courtesan in English:

courtesan

noun

literary
  • A prostitute, especially one with wealthy or upper-class clients.

    ‘they diverted their remaining funds into frequenting courtesans’
    • ‘Punning on the meaning of grande as tall or as grand in the social sense, the seventeenth-century commentator noted the reference to the courtesans and prostitutes of Venice.’
    • ‘Geishas broke apart from courtesans / prostitutes sometime around the 1500s- 1600s, so the two are somewhat similar.’
    • ‘Nobody in Japan would dream of confusing top Gion geisha with high - class courtesans, let alone prostitutes, the myth that continues to prevail about geisha in the West.’
    • ‘She is not a realistic prostitute, but a courtesan, a prominent figure in Indian literature.’
    • ‘In our society, women are condemned to be either courtesans or whores.’
    prostitute, sex worker, call girl
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century from French courtisane, from obsolete Italian cortigiana, feminine of cortigiano ‘courtier’, from corte (see court).

Pronunciation

courtesan

/ˌkɔːtɪˈzan/ /ˈkɔːtɪzan/