1 of 2


plural curbs
or British kerb : an edging (as of concrete) built along a street to form part of a gutter
They sat on the curb eating their ice cream.
see also kick to the curb
[from the fact that it originally transacted its business on the street] : a market for trading in securities not listed on a stock exchange
: a raised edge or margin to strengthen or confine
: an enclosing frame, border, or edging
: check, restraint
a price curb
government policies that are designed to put a curb on spending
: a bit that exerts severe pressure on a horse's jaws
also : the chain or strap attached to it see bit illustration


2 of 2


curbed; curbing; curbs

transitive verb

: to furnish with a curb
: to check or control with or as if with a curb
trying to curb her curiosity
: to lead (a dog) to a suitable place (such as a gutter) for defecation
Choose the Right Synonym for curb

restrain, check, curb, bridle mean to hold back from or control in doing something.

restrain suggests holding back by force or persuasion from acting or from going to extremes.

restrained themselves from laughing

check implies restraining or impeding a progress, activity, or impetus.

trying to check government spending

curb suggests an abrupt or drastic checking.

learn to curb your appetite

bridle implies keeping under control by subduing or holding in.

bridle an impulse to throw the book down

Example Sentences

Noun We sat on the curb eating our ice cream. these international regulations act as a curb on the plundering of a nation's archaeological treasures Verb The legislation is intended to curb price and wage increases. pills designed to curb your appetite
Recent Examples on the Web
Fifteen minutes before midnight, while waiting on the curb for an Uber, a very tall (and very hot) person smoking a cigarette outside a dive bar walked into my life. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 12 Jan. 2023 The ride-hail vehicle driver was seated on the curb, bleeding. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2023 Luis and Ruth Hernandez from Torrance sat on the curb outside the Southwest terminal at LAX on Tuesday morning. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 27 Dec. 2022 New curb cut inlets were installed on both Bloomingdale and 73rd avenues for stormwater to flow into the concave ground area. Gary Gibula, Chicago Tribune, 15 Dec. 2022 The Brambletts’ vehicle was pushed into the intersection and through the opposing lanes of traffic before coming to a final rest on the curb. Howard Koplowitz |, al, 13 Dec. 2022 Adams has long vocalized his distress at residing among so many rodents, and recently announced a plan to take on the rat population by adjusting the hours in which people could leave trash out on the curb. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 1 Dec. 2022 My youngest daughter, also adopted, sat beside her Uncle Will on the curb outside his house one day this spring. Carrie Mckean, The Atlantic, 23 Nov. 2022 His daughter said officers would find Navejas walking in a nearby apartment complex or sitting on the curb at a gas station down the street, and simply bring him back. USA Today, 22 Nov. 2022
Athena was hailed by Gov. Ned Lamont at the time as a key part of freeing up hospital beds and helping curb the spread of the virus in nursing homes. Dave Altimari And Jenna Carlesso, Hartford Courant, 15 Jan. 2023 López Obrador has said it could be expanded across Central America with U.S. support to curb irregular migration. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2023 For Israel’s liberal society, the Supreme Court is seen as the only institution that can curb governmental actions and legislation passed by a parliamentary majority. Time, 10 Jan. 2023 Department staff is also overseeing plans for Harborside Park, which closed in August when the city cleared it of homeless encampments and fenced it to curb illicit activities. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Jan. 2023 McCarthy failed in the first 14 ballots for speaker in marathon voting this week because of opposition from up to 20 conservatives who questioned his trustworthiness and argued Republicans must do more to curb government spending. Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2023 For nearly three years, the Chinese government used strict lockdowns, centralized quarantines, mass testing and rigorous contact tracing to curb the spread of the virus. Alex Stambaugh, CNN, 3 Jan. 2023 That will mark a reversal of the past two years, when chip scarcity forced automakers to curb their fleet sales to prioritize more profitable retail customers. Gabrielle Coppola, Chicago Tribune, 3 Jan. 2023 The Biden administration initiatives are a reversal from those of the Trump administration, which increased scrutiny of applications and made the citizenship test more cumbersome and challenging as part of its agenda to curb legal immigration. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, 2 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle French courbe curve, curved piece of wood or iron, from courbe curved, from Latin curvus


derivative of curb entry 1

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of curb was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near curb

Cite this Entry

“Curb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a chain or strap on a horse's bit used to control the horse by pressing against the lower jaw
: check entry 1 sense 3
price curbs
: an enclosing border (as of stone or concrete) often along the edge of a street


2 of 2 verb
: to control by or furnish with or as if with a curb
legislation to curb price and wage increases
curb your appetite
: to lead (a dog) to a suitable place (as a gutter) for defecation

Medical Definition


: a swelling on the back of the hind leg of a horse just behind the lowest part of the hock joint that is due to strain or rupture of the ligament and generally causes lameness

More from Merriam-Webster on curb

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