curtain

noun
cur·​tain | \ ˈkər-tᵊn How to pronounce curtain (audio) \

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 How to pronounce curtaining (audio) , -​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 How to pronounce curtainless (audio) \ 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 One artistic shot shows a white curtain draped over Ansaroff to accentuate her bump. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "UFC Fighters Amanda Nunes and Nina Ansaroff Share Maternity Photos: 'We Are Very Excited'," 8 Sep. 2020 Once the workshop convened, in its snowy, isolated setting, Greenland felt immediately attracted to Clarke, who had the serene, oval face of a porcelain cameo and a curtain of prematurely white hair. Laura Miller, The New Yorker, "Susanna Clarke’s Fantasy World of Interiors," 7 Sep. 2020 Starting next week, The Breonna Taylor Case will provide a roundup of the most important events and stories about her story and the surrounding protests — with insights and analysis that take you behind the curtain on news events. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "The Breonna Taylor Case: A Courier Journal newsletter that takes you beyond the headlines," 31 Aug. 2020 Use a shower curtain to guide other fall bathroom decoration ideas. Alicia Chilton, Better Homes & Gardens, "9 No-Fail Ways to Add Fall Decor to Your Bathroom," 31 Aug. 2020 Jetaun Wheeler beat him with a curtain rod and hid him in a freezer. Abby Simons, Star Tribune, "Both men who died violently in downtown Minneapolis turned to Salvation Army," 27 Aug. 2020 No one tapping out or taping their delusionary accounts of the way things really are behind the Deep State curtain is working too hard; no one feels compelled to. David Roth, The New Republic, "Trump’s Cloud of Gossip Has Poisoned America," 21 Aug. 2020 People’s homes lay just behind the thick curtain of smoke. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "Frantic evacuations and rescues as fast-moving fire destroys homes overnight on march toward Vacaville," 19 Aug. 2020 Hidden behind a curtain of foliage in central Phoenix, this small coffee shop roasts its beans in house. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "It's officially cold brew season in metro Phoenix. Here are 20 places for takeout coffee," 17 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Attach curtain to rod and hang Once the brackets are secure, string your curtains onto your rod from their grommets, hooks, rings, or pockets. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "How to Hang Curtains: A Step-by-Step Guide," 4 Aug. 2020 It has been shown without being curtained off and with no warning signs. Deborah Martin, ExpressNews.com, "Removal of video from exhibit at San Antonio’s Centro de Artes gallery sparks cries of censorship," 21 Feb. 2020 Five women organize an astonishing array of costumes, tap shoes and feather boas into small, curtained-off, makeshift dressing rooms backstage. New York Times, "Out of the Spotlight, Still a Star: The ‘Backstage Diva’," 12 Mar. 2020 During a session, you are taken to a small curtained-off room and tucked in to a sleeping bag that serves as an infrared sauna, and monitored by attendants as the bag gets warmer and warmer, raising your heart rate and causing you to sweat. Grace Gavilanes, PEOPLE.com, "21 Wellness, Fitness & Feel-Good Events and Products We're Loving Right Now," 17 Dec. 2019 The upper bowl was curtained off, and there were pockets of empty seats in the lower bowl, and plenty of elbow room in the large pit around the stage. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dirt bikes and pyro can't save the Chainsmokers' mindless Milwaukee show, but 5 Seconds of Summer a blast," 13 Nov. 2019 Which explains why the 300-level of Moda Center was curtained-off on Tuesday, and why there were still lots of empty seats. John Canzano | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Canzano: Final Four plans hatched high above the Oregon and Oregon State basketball," 13 Nov. 2019 During the cocktail hour that followed, the site of the ceremony was curtained off so it could be transformed into a space for a formal dinner to be served. Nancy Kruh, PEOPLE.com, "They're Married! Chris Lane and Lauren Bushnell Wed After Whirlwind Engagement — All the Details," 25 Oct. 2019 On Wednesday, the entrance to the building was curtained and blocked off with two large potted plants; a doorman greeted residents at a side door. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Car smashes into lobby of Trump Plaza in NYC suburb," 18 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for curtain

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for curtain

Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curtain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curtain. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for curtain

curtain

noun
How to pronounce curtain (audio)

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 How to pronounce curtain (audio) \

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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