court  ( courts plural ) (NOUN USES)
1 n-count A court is a place where legal matters are decided by a judge and jury or by a magistrate.
oft n N, N n, also in/at N
At this rate, we could find ourselves in the divorce courts!, ...a county court judge..., He was deported on a court order following a conviction for armed robbery..., The 28-year-old striker was in court last week for breaking a rival player's jaw.
2 n-count You can refer to the people in a court, especially the judge, jury, or magistrates, as a court.
A court at Tampa, Florida has convicted five officials on drugs charges.
3 n-count A court is an area in which you play a game such as tennis, basketball, badminton, or squash.
usu supp N, also on/off N
The hotel has several tennis and squash courts..., She watched a few of the games while waiting to go on court.
4 n-count The court of a king or queen is the place where he or she lives and carries out ceremonial or administrative duties.
oft with poss, also at N
She came to visit England, where she was presented at the court of James I...
6 If you go to court or take someone to court, you take legal action against them.
go to court/ take sb to court phrase V inflects
They have received at least twenty thousand pounds each but had gone to court to demand more., ...members of trade associations who want to take bad debtors to court.
7 If someone holds court in a place, they are surrounded by a lot of people who are paying them a lot of attention because they are interesting or famous.
hold court phrase V inflects
...in the days when Marlene Dietrich and Ernest Hemingway held court in the famous El Floridita club.
8 If a legal matter is decided or settled out of court, it is decided without legal action being taken in a court of law.
out of court phrase PHR after v, PHR n
...a payment of two million pounds in an out of court settlement.