verb \(ˌ)kər-ˈtāl\

: to reduce or limit (something)

Full Definition of CURTAIL

transitive verb
:  to make less by or as if by cutting off or away some part <curtail the power of the executive branch> <curtail inflation>
cur·tail·er \-ˈtā-lər\ noun

Examples of CURTAIL

  1. The new laws are an effort to curtail illegal drug use.
  2. School activities are being curtailed due to a lack of funds.

Origin of CURTAIL

by folk etymology from earlier curtal to dock an animal's tail, from curtal, noun, animal with a docked tail, from Middle French courtault — more at curtal
First Known Use: 1580


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