noun \ˈkər-tən\

: a piece of cloth that hangs down from above a window and can be used to cover the window

: a piece of cloth or other material that is hung to protect or hide something

: a very large piece of cloth that hangs at the front of a stage and that is raised when a performance begins and lowered when a performance ends

Full Definition of CURTAIN

:  a hanging screen usually capable of being drawn back or up; especially :  window drapery
:  a device or agency that conceals or acts as a barrier — compare iron curtain
a :  the part of a bastioned front that connects two neighboring bastions
b (1) :  a similar stretch of plain wall
(2) :  a nonbearing exterior wall
a :  the movable screen separating the stage from the auditorium of a theater
b :  the ascent or opening (as at the beginning of a play) of a stage curtain; also :  its descent or closing (as at the end of an act)
c :  the final situation, line, or scene of an act or play
d :  the time at which a theatrical performance begins
e plural :  end; especially :  death <it will be curtains for us if we're caught>
cur·tain·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of CURTAIN

  1. Curtains separated the hospital beds.
  2. When the curtain rises after intermission, the set is bare and the main character finds himself alone.
  3. As the curtain falls for the last time, we see a young woman holding a dying man in her arms.

Origin of CURTAIN

Middle English curtine, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin cortina (translation of Greek aulaia, from aulē court), from Latin cohort-, cohors enclosure, court — more at court
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with CURTAIN


cur·tainedcur·tain·ing \ˈkərt-niŋ, -ˈkər-tən-iŋ\

Definition of CURTAIN

transitive verb
:  to furnish with or as if with curtains
:  to veil or shut off with or as if with a curtain

Examples of CURTAIN

  1. <she dropped her head and in shame curtained her face with her hair>

First Known Use of CURTAIN

14th century

Rhymes with CURTAIN


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Panel of decorative fabric hung to regulate the admission of light at a window and to prevent drafts. Curtains made of a heavy material, arranged to fall in ornamental folds to the floor, are called draperies. Mosaics from the 2nd–6th century show curtains suspended from rods spanning arches. From the Middle Ages to the 19th century, curtains ranged in style from simple to ornamented; beds were often curtained on all sides. In the 20th century, synthetic fabrics and mechanical devices for opening and closing curtains simplified their installation and use.


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