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Meaning of courtly love

court'ly love'

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a highly stylized code of behavior popular chiefly from the 12th to the 14th century that prescribed the rules of conduct between lovers, advocating idealized but illicit love, and which fostered an extensive medieval literature based on this tradition.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.