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noun cur·tain \ˈkər-tən\

Simple Definition of curtain

  • : 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

  1. 1 :  a hanging screen usually capable of being drawn back or up; especially :  window drapery

  2. 2 :  a device or agency that conceals or acts as a barrier — compare iron curtain

  3. 3 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

  4. 4 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 play \-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



verb cur·tain

Definition of curtain

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

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to furnish with or as if with curtains

  3. 2 :  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>

14th Century

First Known Use of curtain

14th century

Seen and Heard

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February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

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