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 some cases, investors worry that debt has been curtailed in ways that could hurt the economy. Aaron Kuriloff, WSJ, "Taking Stock of the World’s Debt," 27 Dec. 2018 Jones still has a presence on Twitter, an app in the iPhone story, and a website, meaning that he hasn’t been silenced, but his reach has been severely curtailed. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Apple crushed Alex Jones — then tossed him a lifeline," 8 Aug. 2018 Following the pact, China appeared to have curtailed much, although not all, of its hacking activity against U.S. firms, including by the People's Liberation Army. Mark Dent, Anchorage Daily News, "China hacked Navy contractor, secured trove of sensitive data on submarine warfare," 8 June 2018 NFL Network recently reported the leave of absence was because of Key voluntarily checking himself in to a rehab facility to curtail his marijuana usage. Andrew Lopez, NOLA.com, "Arden Key slides to the Oakland Raiders at No. 87," 27 Apr. 2018 When Ryan did try to make the case that these policies were part of a grander social program, he was drowned out by the president—whose numerous abuses of power Ryan notably did nothing to curtail. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Paul Ryan's departure marks the end of an era—and the further Trumpification of the Republican Party.," 12 Apr. 2018 Now, though, entomologists hope to breed and release it in sufficient quantities to curtail the stinkbug population. Steven Strogatz, The New Yorker, "When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home," 8 Aug. 2011 But Oguz argues that the onus should fall on the service, not the user, to curtail it. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "MoviePass Rival Sinemia Is in It for the Long Haul," 10 May 2018 The key ruling cemented Maduro’s power, preventing the opposition from amassing a two-third super majority that would have severely curtailed Maduro’s power. Scott Smith, The Seattle Times, "Venezuela Supreme Court judge flees to US to protest Maduro," 7 Jan. 2019

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

18 Mar 2019

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

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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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

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