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 windows face the lake, so privacy was not a concern—which meant the designers could go with sheer Roman shades and curtains. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Summer Thornton's Transformation Of This Chicago Apartment Will Make Your Jaw Drop," 9 Jan. 2019 The top knot and curtain bangs mark the second time Jenner has changed-up her hair in recent weeks. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kris Jenner Got Bangs and Now She's Kim's Twin," 8 Jan. 2019 Another in a suburb of Sacramento, Calif., made curtains with magnets that could quickly cover the windows of classroom doors to hide students taking refuge. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "In Age of Mass Shootings, Boy Scout Projects Hope to Keep Schools Safe," 6 Jan. 2019 Her latest look channels a very specific princess in a very specific outfit: Giselle's famous curtain dress from Enchanted. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Lili Reinhart Wears a Dress Fit for a Disney Princess to a 'Vanity Fair' Party in Los Angeles," 5 Jan. 2019 Two days later, Kris Van Assche will lift the curtain on his first full collection for Berluti. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "6 Talking Points From the Fall 2019 Menswear Season to Come Inspired by Virgil... (Not the Virgil that You’re Thinking Of)," 3 Jan. 2019 So Sheldon, Amy, Leonard, and Penny all head to the bathroom for a weird makeshift funeral and end up catching the shower curtain on fire. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory," 6 Dec. 2018 In a cozy library, the insides of the bookcases were painted a brilliant red by Hicks, who also lined the upper walls with dark red velvet recycled from old curtains. Robert O'byrne, ELLE Decor, "Tour a Legendary Manor in Northern Ireland," 12 Oct. 2018 Widows, starring Oscar winner Viola Davis and from fellow Academy honoree Steve McQueen, has been unveiled as the opening-night film, lifting the curtain on the 62nd edition of the event in London's Leicester Square on Oct. 10. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Steve McQueen's 'Widows' to Open London Film Festival," 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

12 Jan 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 \

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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