curtail

verb
cur·tail | \(ˌ)kər-ˈtāl \
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 \ 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

Dozens of experts are needed to write the hundreds of pages needed to describe North Korea’s nuclear and missile infrastructure and then delineate how it will be curtailed, dismantled and inspected. New York Times, "North Korea Criticizes ‘Gangster-Like’ U.S. Attitude After Talks With Mike Pompeo," 7 July 2018 If climate change is not curtailed, that timetable will continue to speed up, the report said. New York Times, BostonGlobe.com, "Great Barrier Reef imperiled as heat worsens damage," 4 July 2018 Or does attendance drop off as galleries curtail activity for the season? Charles Desmarais, SFChronicle.com, "Summer exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery a monstrous affair," 6 July 2018 The Food and Drug Administration has approved a topical wipe that can help curtail excessive underarm sweating, the company behind the product announced Friday. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "The FDA Approved a Topical Treatment for Excessive Underarm Sweating," 30 June 2018 Some worried the company’s attempt to ensure its product could be legally prescribed and sold by pharmacies would have a side effect: curtailing medical marijuana programs already operating in more than two dozen states. NBC News, "Some parents wary of cannabis-based medication for epilepsy," 19 June 2018 Now the wait is 96 hours, Mitchell said, and that’s been curtailing the back-and-forth. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "City's shelters falling short of goals in finding permanent housing for the homeless," 17 June 2018 Yet Congress, under pressure from President Trump and other nativists in the Republican Party, is focused on curtailing rather than expanding the supply of immigrant labor. George Melloan, WSJ, "Social Security Needs Immigrants," 14 June 2018 Making auditions a formal process, which are taped and have casting agents present, can help curtail harassment. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Can Hollywood Kill the Casting Couch?," 13 June 2018

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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Statistics for curtail

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curtail

The first known use of curtail was in 1580

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More Definitions for curtail

curtail

verb

English Language Learners Definition of curtail

: to reduce or limit (something)

curtail

verb
cur·tail | \ˌkər-ˈtāl \
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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evasion of direct action or statement

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