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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the video, two separate fireworks displays can be seen in the background, bursting behind a curtain of smoke. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Fireworks — legal and illegal — spark dozens of July 4 fire incidents in Sacramento," 5 July 2018 Camille’s story, told through Adams’s hesitant physicality—and behind a curtain of long strawberry-blonde hair, so alive its tendrils seem to instinctively curl around her—is one of barely maintained survival. Sonia Saraiya, HWD, "Sharp Objects Is Stunning, Raw, and Violently Beautiful," 5 July 2018 The Stage Rightside with James Whiteside is one of the most unabashed glimpses behind the curtain of a major American ballet company. Billboard, "Ballet Dancer, Drag Queen, Singer & Podcaster: Inside James Whiteside's Fearless, Authentic Life," 8 June 2018 Earlier this year, Bella Hadid chopped her hair and got a subtle set of bangs that framed her face, and Selena Gomez and Beyoncé both debuted their own takes on curtain bangs this past spring. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Kaia Gerber Rocked Miniature Bangs on the Runway," 4 Oct. 2018 The country star is sitting on a pink sofa with pink throw pillows, in front of pink curtains, wearing a pink jacket (from her CALIA by Carrie Underwood collection). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Has Carrie Underwood Been Dropping Hints About Her Baby's Gender This Whole Time?," 11 Aug. 2018 To her daughter, and to us, on the other side of the curtain, the decision seemed straightforward. Tom Hallman Jr., OregonLive.com, "The meaning of a mother's love through a doctor's diary: Tom Hallman," 12 May 2018 Don’t stay out too long at the second intermission, because a hipster spends the first five minutes in front of the curtain, gyrating in lounge-lizard fashion to cha-cha numbers. Lawrence Toppman, charlotteobserver, "REVIEW: Don't dawdle at 'Spring Works' intermission or you'll miss some of the heat ...," 26 Apr. 2018 We also are treated to a slew of professionally staged drag performances throughout the show, performed in front of a shiny red curtain. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Fun-Loving, Dramatic Drag Play 'Georgia McBride' Dressed To Impress At TheaterWorks," 23 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about curtain

Statistics for curtain

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curtain

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on curtain

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!