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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

The decision to curtail production could have a calamitous effect on Airbus'A380 manufacturing unit over the next few years, which employs 3,000 to 3,500 people. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Airbus to Stop Production of the Colossal A380 as Airlines Transition to Smaller Planes," 14 Feb. 2019 Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt studied voter impersonation, the type of fraud that strict voter ID laws (which Trump supports) aim to curtail. Dylan Scott, Vox, "There’s election fraud in North Carolina. That’s not the same thing as voter fraud.," 11 Dec. 2018 The goal is to predict three days out the level of particulates and ozone, then produce an eight-hour warning of high ozone levels that would advise people to curtail outdoor activities. Dan Rosenbaum, Ars Technica, "All hail the AI overlord: Smart cities and the AI Internet of Things," 7 Dec. 2018 The Administration’s stated goal is to deter Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei from pursuing ballistic missile development and to curtail its support for Shiite militant groups in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "President Trump Is Putting Huge Pressure on Europe to Reinstate Sanctions on Iran. He's in for a Tough Sell at the NATO Summit," 3 July 2018 Germond, 75, joins the state Fair Political Practices Commission to serve the remaining seven months of the term of former chair Jodi Remke, who resigned last month after part-time members voted to curtail some of her powers. Javier Panzar, latimes.com, "Gov. Brown appoints Democratic activist Alice T. Germond to head California's campaign watchdog panel," 22 June 2018 Or, most importantly for many, curtailing immigration and building a border wall. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Fox News demanded a government shutdown — and got one," 22 Dec. 2018 In response to the outcry, Facebook dumped its human editors, who had the power to either extend or curtail the reach of any news item. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "Is Silicon Valley Silencing Conservatives on Social Media?," 15 Mar. 2018 However, Democratic senators suggested the FBI investigation had been limited and curtailed by the White House. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Brett Kavanaugh Has Been Confirmed to the Supreme Court," 6 Oct. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about curtail

Statistics for curtail

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curtail

The first known use of curtail was in 1580

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for curtail

curtail

verb

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on curtail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with curtail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for curtail

Spanish Central: Translation of curtail

Nglish: Translation of curtail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curtail for Arabic Speakers

Comments on curtail

What made you want to look up curtail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!