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

There needs to be diversity at all levels, from the models walking the floor to the people behind the curtain controlling the show. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Meet Selam Fessahaye, the Stylist and Designer Making Change on the Swedish Fashion Scene," 2 Apr. 2019 Since November, Jupiter (the planet of expansion) has been in your house of subconscious and dreams, exaggerating a lot of what’s going on behind the curtain. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What April’s Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 31 Mar. 2019 The nursery's neutral palette would not be complete without a little bit of glamour, as seen in the gold accents of the curtain rods, mirror, and light fixtures. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Nursery Could Look Like This," 26 Mar. 2019 Runway This morning, Instagram lifted the curtain on an idea that the company has been refining for years. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Instagram Made a Major Announcement This Morning And It May Change the Way You Shop Online," 19 Mar. 2019 But people are savvier to these tricks now, especially after UnREAL opened the curtain to what goes on behind-the-scenes on The Bachelor. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Is Anyone Else Buying Kim, Khloé, and Kourtney's Fights This Season on KUWTK?," 28 Aug. 2018 In fact, chilly weather intensifies colors and keeps blossoms looking fresh until a hard, killing frost drops the curtain on the gardening year. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Gorgeous Chrysanthemums This Fall," 9 Aug. 2018 Most ended up in the Ritz, in rooms whose glass shower doors and curtain rods had been removed to prevent suicide attempts. Ben Hubbard, David D. Kirkpatrick, Kate Kelly And Mark Mazzetti, New York Times, "Saudis Said to Use Coercion and Abuse to Seize Billions," 11 Mar. 2018 Only those committed to living honorably in the present are prepared for the applause of heaven if the curtain of life falls unexpectedly. Loren A. Yadon, idahostatesman, "Leaving the ‘stage of life’ to the applause of heaven," 12 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

20 Apr 2019

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 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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Comments on curtain

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