curtain

noun
cur·​tain | \ˈkər-tᵊn \

Definition of curtain 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a hanging screen usually capable of being drawn back or up especially : window drapery

2 : a device or agency that conceals or acts as a barrier — compare iron curtain

3a : the part of a bastioned front that connects two neighboring bastions

b(1) : a similar stretch of plain wall

(2) : a nonbearing exterior wall

4a : the movable screen separating the stage from the auditorium of a theater

b : the ascent or opening (as at the beginning of a play) of a stage curtain also : its descent or closing (as at the end of an act)

c : the final situation, line, or scene of an act or play

d : the time at which a theatrical performance begins

e curtains plural : end especially : death it will be curtains for us if we're caught

curtain

verb
curtained; curtaining\ ˈkərt-​niŋ , -​ˈkər-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of curtain (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish with or as if with curtains

2 : to veil or shut off with or as if with a curtain

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Other Words from curtain

Noun

curtainless \ ˈkər-​tᵊn-​ləs \ adjective

Examples of curtain in a Sentence

Noun

Curtains separated the hospital beds. When the curtain rises after intermission, the set is bare and the main character finds himself alone. As the curtain falls for the last time, we see a young woman holding a dying man in her arms.

Verb

she dropped her head and in shame curtained her face with her hair
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Ant-Man movies offer glimpses of what Hank Pym's life pre-Ant-Man was like, and this four-parter from the late '80s pulls the curtain back even more in a surreal and wonderful way: Cold War drama! Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "5 Comics You Should Read Before Seeing Ant-Man and the Wasp," 4 July 2018 After much speculation, Ryan Murphy has finally revealed what he, the wizard of prestige, baroque television, has been hiding behind his velvet curtain. Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "American Horror Story: Witches," 14 June 2018 Viktor & Rolf played their greatest hits in a Pigalle theater, with models taking the stage behind a dramatic red velvet curtain. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Paris Couture Week: Elie Saab Says 'Ole,' Viktor & Rolf Say 'Remember When?'," 5 July 2018 When one does, a curtain dropped and revealed McCartney on stage with a band. Fox News, "James Corden tears up during Paul McCartney's Liverpool 'Carpool Karoke' visit," 22 June 2018 After Trent went into labor, however, the suit claims cameras continued to follow her and recorded the delivery from behind a curtain without her knowledge. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Bravo reality star Jeff Lewis's surrogate sues network for filming birth," 14 June 2018 In 70-degree heat of 2 p.m., winds combing the tall spruce pulled down curtains of pollen, tiny yellow orbs that hold the male genetic material of the tree. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "What it’s like to run circles for 24 hours around the land of no night," 9 June 2018 Thank you, Mike Shanahan and Mike Martz and Matt Millen and Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff and Al Davis (yes, Al Davis), for giving me the peeks behind the curtains of the real game during my mid-career at SI. Peter King, SI.com, "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You: Peter King Says Farewell to SI’s Monday Morning QB," 21 May 2018 Chelsea started pre-season training earlier this month, led by Conte, and face upcoming friendlies against Inter, Arsenal and Lyon before playing the Community Shield curtain raiser against Premier League champions Manchester City on 5th August. SI.com, "Chelsea Officially Sack Antonio Conte Ahead of Announcing Maurizio Sarri Appointment," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Only then were the bed curtains drawn, affording the newlyweds the privacy of a thin piece of fabric. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "How Do Royals Spend Their Wedding Nights?," 10 May 2018 They were seated with medical personnel in a curtained off area of the aircraft. Washington Post, "Release of 3 detainees in NKorea sealed at last minute," 10 May 2018 The three detainees walked without assistance from the van that had brought them from custody, and were seated with medical personnel in the middle section of the plane, which had been curtained off. Nicole Gaouette, CNN, "Pompeo's 13 hours in North Korea," 9 May 2018 Oil prices have strengthened in recent weeks amid worry Washington would reinstate draconian sanctions that might quickly curtain Iranian exports, cutting global supplies. Summer Said, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Pledges to Support Oil Markets," 9 May 2018 The stories in Robert Aickman’s Compulsory Games, reissued this month by New York Review Books Classics, plumb the darkness curtained off by our normal, boring lives, as well as the inanity of those lives themselves. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Weird Fiction Is Alive," 7 May 2018 The 1,600-square-foot salon holds eight manicure/pedicure stations designed for privacy; each one can be curtained off. Kavita Daswani, latimes.com, "Four brilliant ways to give your lifestyle a health and wellness boost," 28 Apr. 2018 Harkins Theaters has replicated the large screen curtained experience in two multiplex locations. azcentral, "Iconic Arizona businesses that are closed," 4 Nov. 2014 It is curtained with black trimmed with silver fringe. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "The epic journey of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train," 30 Apr. 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for curtain

Noun

Middle English curtine, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin cortina (translation of Greek aulaia, from aulē court), from Latin cohort-, cohors enclosure, court — more at court

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Statistics for curtain

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curtain

The first known use of curtain was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for curtain

curtain

noun

English Language Learners Definition of curtain

: a piece of cloth that hangs down from above a window and can be used to cover the window

: a piece of cloth or other material that is hung to protect or hide something

: a very large piece of cloth that hangs at the front of a stage and that is raised when a performance begins and lowered when a performance ends

curtain

noun
cur·​tain | \ˈkər-tᵊn \

Kids Definition of curtain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a piece of material (as cloth) hung up to darken, hide, divide, or decorate

2 : something that covers, hides, or separates like a curtain a curtain of fog

curtain

verb
curtained; curtaining

Kids Definition of curtain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to furnish with cloth that darkens, hides, divides, or decorates

2 : to hide or shut off

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