curtail

verb
cur·​tail | \ (ˌ)kər-ˈtāl How to pronounce curtail (audio) \
curtailed; curtailing; curtails

Definition of curtail

transitive verb

: to make less by or as if by cutting off or away some part curtail the power of the executive branch curtail inflation Some school activities are being curtailed due to a lack of funds.

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Other Words from curtail

curtailer \ (ˌ)kər-​ˈtā-​lər How to pronounce curtailer (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for curtail

shorten, curtail, abbreviate, abridge, retrench mean to reduce in extent. shorten implies reduction in length or duration. shorten a speech curtail adds an implication of cutting that in some way deprives of completeness or adequacy. ceremonies curtailed because of rain abbreviate implies a making shorter usually by omitting some part. using an abbreviated title abridge implies a reduction in compass or scope with retention of essential elements and a relative completeness in the result. the abridged version of the novel retrench suggests a reduction in extent or costs of something felt to be excessive. declining business forced the company to retrench

Examples of curtail in a Sentence

The new laws are an effort to curtail illegal drug use. School activities are being curtailed due to a lack of funds.
Recent Examples on the Web In the past week Belgium, England, France and Germany have all announced their second nationwide shutdowns, with restrictions on people’s movement, in an effort to curtail a new wave of covid-19 infections. The Economist, "Daily chart Europe’s second wave of covid-19 is beginning to resemble the first," 3 Nov. 2020 Players’ reliance on one another transcends the practice field, with any chance of playing this season contingent on their acting responsibly to curtail the spread of the virus. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Game week brings cautious excitement and crossed fingers for UCLA," 1 Nov. 2020 The businesses will have to show they have been economically harmed by the governor’s executive orders designed to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Virginia governor expands small business grant funding, eligibility," 29 Oct. 2020 The podcast depicted this as retaliation against the show, a shameless effort to curtail old-fashioned muckraking. David Segal, New York Times, "A Podcast Answers a Fast-Food Question That Nobody Is Asking," 28 Oct. 2020 The story escalated earlier this month when Facebook and Twitter acted to curtail the spread of a story from the conservative-leaning New York Post — an unprecedented action against a major media outlet. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Watch Live: CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google face Senate grilling," 28 Oct. 2020 In an effort to curtail interruptions this time, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Trump and Biden will each have his microphone cut off while his rival delivers an opening two-minute answer to each of six debate topics. Anchorage Daily News, "Final presidential debate brings high stakes for Biden and Trump," 22 Oct. 2020 On Thursday night, in an effort to curtail interruptions, Trump and Biden will each have his microphone cut off while his rival delivers an opening two-minute answer to each of the six debate topics, the commission announced. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "Trump and Biden to meet in-person for final presidential debate Thursday; here's what to know," 22 Oct. 2020 In an effort to curtail interruptions this time, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Trump and Biden will each have his microphone cut off while his rival delivers an opening two-minute answer to each of six debate topics. Jonathan Lemire, The Salt Lake Tribune, "High stakes for Trump, Biden heading into final debate," 22 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curtail.' 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 curtail

1580, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for curtail

by folk etymology from earlier curtal to dock an animal's tail, from curtal, noun, animal with a docked tail, from Middle French courtault — more at curtal

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Time Traveler for curtail

Time Traveler

The first known use of curtail was in 1580

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Statistics for curtail

Last Updated

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curtail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curtail. Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for curtail

curtail

verb
How to pronounce curtail (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of curtail

formal : to reduce or limit (something)

curtail

verb
cur·​tail | \ ˌkər-ˈtāl How to pronounce curtail (audio) \
curtailed; curtailing

Kids Definition of curtail

: to shorten or reduce by cutting off the end or a part of I had to curtail my speech.

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Comments on curtail

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