curse

noun
\ 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

curse

verb
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

anathema, ban, execration, imprecation, malediction, malison, winze [Scottish]

Synonyms: Verb

anathematize, beshrew [archaic], imprecate, maledict

Antonyms: Noun

benediction, benison, blessing

Antonyms: Verb

bless

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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

For emerging markets to break the curse, the U.S. economy will have to be strong, but not so strong that rates keep rising. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Survey Says ... Avoid Emerging Markets," 12 Feb. 2019 In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Claudia Kim plays a character doomed with a blood curse. Lisa Mischianti, Marie Claire, "Get to Know The Crimes of Grindelwald Star Claudia Kim," 9 Nov. 2018 In the prequel to the Harry Potter series, Voldemort's snake/horcrux is actually revealed to be a maledictus, a human woman with a blood curse that eventually turns her into the serpent. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "J.K. Rowling Chimed in on "Fantastic Beasts" Casting Criticism Over Claudia Kim as Nagini," 27 Sep. 2018 The Spore drive, much like poor characterization, is one of the lingering curses from Season One. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Gets Back to Basics," 25 Jan. 2019 The underlying technology of email hasn’t changed in decades, which is both a blessing and a curse. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "The Hot New Channel for Reaching Real People: Email," 19 Jan. 2019 Moments like this, which touch on the way that Castle Rock is decaying as an isolated relic of American history, are more unsettling than those that suggest that a supernatural curse is what’s really affecting the people who live there. Karen Han, Vox, "Hulu’s Castle Rock gets what makes Stephen King so scary," 20 July 2018 Marriott's curse at the president was among other incidents this month in which members of the Trump administration were met with hostility by people opposed to Trump's policies. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Sen. Maggie Hassan suspends intern for yelling vulgarity at President Trump," 26 June 2018 The curse of April snowstorms and record lows might have actually been a blessing for the Kansas City region. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Winter's hesitancy to leave keeps tornadoes at bay; but peak twister season is coming | The Kansas City Star," 25 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

French striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for cursing at his coach: the players boycotted a day of training, a top official resigned in disgust, and France failed to win a game. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 The man began walking toward the hotel, then came back and cursed at the officers. Brian Lisik/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Driver wanted for reckless operation after nearly hitting police car: Independence Police Blotter," 30 Apr. 2018 A few minutes into the meeting, Stevante Clark, Mr. Clark’s brother, stormed into the council chamber and cursed repeatedly at Mr. Steinberg. Jose A. Del Real, New York Times, "Hundreds at Sacramento City Hall Protest Police Killing of Stephon Clark," 27 Mar. 2018 Sketchy lines, potent phrases, and a rich sense of playful irreverence define his line drawings, whose subjects range from solar eclipses and Greek warriors to dogs leaping and cursing owls. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "“I Think Fashion and Art Meet Together like a Finely Knit Sweater”—Raymond Pettibon Discusses His Dior Men Collaboration," 11 Feb. 2019 Sam's family bought the camp at a great price, because it was rumored to be cursed. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Twitter-inspired You Might Be the Killer is coming to Syfy this weekend," 4 Oct. 2018 The group included children, and one of the tourists, Frederick Northrop Jr., confronted Malone, telling him not to curse in front of them, according to police. Fleming Smith, ajc, "‘Walking Dead’ tourists confronted by local who says they scare cafe customers," 12 June 2018 There were really political opinions, and normal ones, and hot ones, and people cursed in these different ... Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism," 12 Dec. 2018 School records showed several students and at least one parent said Walker drove too fast, slammed on the brakes and cursed in front of the children. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Driver in deadly Chattanooga school bus crash arrested on child rape charge," 15 June 2018

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

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for curse

Noun

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

Verb

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

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Statistics for curse

Last Updated

9 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curse

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

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More Definitions for curse

curse

noun

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

curse

noun
\ 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.

curse

verb
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with curse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for curse

Spanish Central: Translation of curse

Nglish: Translation of curse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curse for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about curse

Comments on curse

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