Definition of curfew
1 : the sounding of a bell at evening
2a : a regulation enjoining the withdrawal of usually specified persons (such as juveniles or military personnel) from the streets or the closing of business establishments or places of assembly at a stated hour The city ordered a curfew to prevent further rioting.b : a signal to announce the beginning of a curfewc : the hour at which a curfew becomes effective He has a 10 o'clock curfew.d : the period during which a curfew is in effect
Examples of curfew in a Sentence
The teens were stopped by police for violating the curfew.
The city ordered a curfew soon after the rioting started.
The town was placed under curfew.
No one is allowed on the streets during the curfew.
He has a 10 o'clock curfew.
Recent Examples of curfew from the Web
Additionally, any child found violating curfew under the age of 10 will be placed in protective custody.
The bar then enclosed part of the patio last fall, but the city found the area was still a mostly outdoor space, and the 11 p.m. curfew was still in effect.
Parts of neighboring Iligan city are on lock down, with a night-time curfew, to prevent fighters spreading there, according to a statement posted on the city's official Facebook page.
The mayor would cut services at the city's two youth curfew centers, saving about $70,000.
The trio ventured into a working-class section of Bogotá that is off limits to Pentagon personnel, violated a 1 a.m. curfew and brought four women back to their hotel rooms.
Some refer to a clash in 1988 between police officers and protesters as the officers tried to enforce a curfew at Tompkins Square Park.
Fully 84 percent of those surveyed liked the idea of setting a speed limit, curfew time, and restrictions on how many passengers can be in the car at once.
He would be required to live at his parents' townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side, abide by a curfew, and turn over his passport.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curfew'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What is the origin of curfew?
During the Middle Ages, houses in European towns were often made of wood and were close together, and fires could quickly spread from house to house. To prevent this, people were required to put out or cover their hearth fires by a certain time in the evening. A bell was rung as a signal when the time had come. In early French this signal was called coverfeu, a compound of covrir, meaning “to cover,” and feu, “fire.” Even when hearth fires were no longer regulated, many towns had other rules that called for the ringing of an evening bell, and this signal was still called coverfeu. A common coverfeu regulation required people to be off the streets by a given time. That was the meaning of the word when it was borrowed into Middle English as curfew.
Origin and Etymology of curfew
Middle English, from Anglo-French coverfeu, signal given to bank the hearth fire, curfew, from coverir to cover + fu, feu fire, from Latin focus hearth
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
CURFEW Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of curfew for English Language Learners
: an order or law that requires people to be indoors after a certain time at night
: the period of time when such an order or law is in effect
: the time set by a parent at which a child has to be back home after going out
CURFEW Defined for Kids
Definition of curfew for Students
: a rule requiring certain or all people to be off the streets or at home at a stated time
Seen and Heard
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