\ ˈkərs How to pronounce curse (audio) \

Definition of curse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one : imprecation People believe that there is a curse on the house.
2 : a profane or obscene oath or word In an antechamber, his lieutenants suddenly heard the shattering of glass and angry curses.— Sam Moses
3 : something that is cursed or accursed "I … will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth." — Jeremiah 26:6 (King James Version)
4 : evil or misfortune that comes as if in response to imprecation or as retribution … intolerance is the greatest curse of every land …— Kenneth Roberts
5 : a cause of great harm or misfortune : torment His fame turned out to be a curse, not a blessing.
6 : menstruation used with the


cursed; cursing

Definition of curse (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to use profanely insolent language against : blaspheme cursing his god
2a : to call upon divine or supernatural power to send injury upon He was cursed and fears he will die.
b : to execrate in fervent and often profane terms cursed by future generations unless we act now
3 : to bring great evil upon : afflict a land cursed with famine

intransitive verb

: to utter imprecations : swear cursing loudly

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Synonyms & Antonyms for curse

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of curse in a Sentence

Noun I heard him utter a curse before the microphone was shut off. The witch pronounced a curse in some strange language. People believe that someone put a curse on the house. His fame turned out to be a curse, not a blessing. Verb He cursed himself for being so careless. She cursed her bad luck. In the book the evil witch curses the villagers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez's beloved comic finally makes it to Netflix with an adaptation that shows why this story of magical keys and family curses was so enticing and so hard to adapt. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Locke & Key': TV Review," 4 Feb. 2020 Based on feedback from readers, my sense is many Red Sox fans appreciate the huge role Schilling played in breaking the curse in 2004 but disagree with many of his views. Peter Abraham,, "Will Curt Schilling have next year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony all to himself?," 25 Jan. 2020 Kate, therefore, may have inherited the same genetic gift/curse. Kaitlin Reilly,, "Explaining That Mindbending Ending Of The Turning," 24 Jan. 2020 Not on the fears of Steve Rattner, or the tears and curses of Leon Cooperman, or anybody else who tells you the sky can still fall in a country that elected Donald Trump president. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "On Courage," 6 Jan. 2020 Skylight Opera Theatre and Milwaukee Opera Theatre team up on Gilbert and Sullivan's satirical comic opera, featuring ghosts and a witch's curse. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "20 enticing Milwaukee concerts and shows in early 2020," 2 Jan. 2020 Gerda encounters blizzards, tundra, singing crows, an enigmatic Prince and Princess, even a helpful reindeer, in her bid to lift the Snow Queen’s curse. The Economist, "A new retelling of “The Snow Queen” is aimed squarely at adults," 31 Dec. 2019 Is Sébastien Haller the man to break the West Ham striker's curse?, "One Thing Learned About Every Premier League Team From Pre-Season," 9 Aug. 2019 Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein went all-in to break the curse in Chicago. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Most important MLB trade deadline deals of the past 15 years," 23 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the clip, Shepard discusses cursing and using the middle finger with one of the couple's young daughters. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kristen Bell Shares Rare Glimpse at Her and Dax Shepard's Parenting Techniques," 29 Dec. 2019 Todd forced the driver’s door open and started cursing and punching the driver. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Road rage leads to robbery, burglary, assault charges, cops say," 13 Dec. 2019 At least a couple dozen glass storefronts were smashed and graffiti cursing Piñera and calling for revolution was sprayed on virtually every building. Author: Michael Weissenstein And Eva Vergara, Anchorage Daily News, "Fresh protests, looting erupt in Chile despite new Cabinet," 29 Oct. 2019 Residents jeered riot police, cursing at them and telling them to leave. Kelvin Chan, The Denver Post, "Hong Kong descends into chaos again as protesters defy ban," 20 Oct. 2019 An incident report obtained by the Inquirer and Daily News said the two men cursed at the Starbucks manager and refused to leave after officers repeatedly asked them to. Patricia Madej,, "Starbucks bathrooms will be open to everyone following arrest of two black men in Philadelphia," 11 May 2018 After the agitated woman continued her protests as Sanderlin kept touching her, Sanderlin cursed at the woman and told her to leave, prosecutors said. William Lee,, "Man, 88, shoots pregnant prostitute after dispute over money, prosecutors say," 22 Mar. 2018 Of all the emotions I have felt cursed to struggle with throughout my life, anger was never one of them. Molly Knefel, SELF, "We Need to Talk More About Postpartum Rage," 12 Dec. 2019 All of these images, in the eyes of the internet, are cursed. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "Why You Can't Look Away From #CursedImages," 14 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of curse


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for curse


Middle English curs, going back to Old English, of uncertain origin


Middle English cursen, going back to Old English cursian, probably derivative of curs curse entry 1

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Time Traveler for curse

Time Traveler

The first known use of curse was before the 12th century

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Statistics for curse

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for curse


How to pronounce curse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of curse

: an offensive word that people say when they are angry
: magical words that are said to cause trouble or bad luck for someone or the condition that results when such words are said
: a cause of trouble or bad luck


\ ˈkərs How to pronounce curse (audio) \

Kids Definition of curse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a series of words calling for harm to come to someone
2 : a word or an expression used in swearing or in calling for harm to come to someone
3 : evil or misfortune that comes as if in answer to someone's request The land suffered the curse of drought.
4 : a cause of great harm or evil All this money has been nothing but a curse.


cursed; cursing

Kids Definition of curse (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to call upon divine power to send harm or evil upon He cursed his enemies.
3 : to bring unhappiness or evil upon : afflict
4 : to say or think bad things about (someone or something) He cursed the unfairness of the world.

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More from Merriam-Webster on curse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for curse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with curse

Spanish Central: Translation of curse

Nglish: Translation of curse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curse for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about curse

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