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curtail

play
verb cur·tail \(ˌ)kər-ˈtāl\

Simple Definition of curtail

  • : to reduce or limit (something)

Full Definition of curtail

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  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 play \-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

Synonym Discussion of curtail

shorten, curtail, abbreviate, abridge, retrench mean to reduce in extent. shorten implies reduction in length or duration <shorten a speech>. curtail adds an implication of cutting that in some way deprives of completeness or adequacy <ceremonies curtailed because of rain>. abbreviate implies a making shorter usually by omitting some part <using an abbreviated title>. abridge implies a reduction in compass or scope with retention of essential elements and a relative completeness in the result <the abridged version of the novel>. retrench suggests a reduction in extent or costs of something felt to be excessive <declining business forced the company to retrench>.

CURTAIL Defined for Kids

curtail

play
verb cur·tail \ˌkər-ˈtāl\

Definition of curtail

cur·tailedcur·tail·ing

  1. :  to shorten or reduce by cutting off the end or a part of <I had to curtail my speech.>





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