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 curtain (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 curtain (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 The hearty laugh that followed offered a glimpse beyond the curtain of a person who balances being an unrelenting, unflappable competitor with the ability to hit the pressure-release valve. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Kaillie Humphries navigates controversy to become world’s best female bobsledder," 22 Feb. 2021 The under-the-radar outing offered a rare glimpse behind the royal curtain of the future Queen. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Kate Middleton’s Surprising 'Enchilada Kit' Errand with George, Charlotte and Louis," 16 Dec. 2020 For years, a pale blue craftsman-style house in need of some tender, loving care stood quietly hidden away behind a curtain of overgrowth in this Boston suburb. Anna Tarnow, The Christian Science Monitor, "An electrician’s good deed launches a movement of helpers," 28 Oct. 2020 The Sky promises to be — giving peeks behind the curtain of the group that has largely kept itself behind a shroud of mystery. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Blackpink Get Candid In New Netflix Trailer," 6 Oct. 2020 The ilani hotel, a tower wrapped in a curtain of royal-blue glass, is due to break ground in the spring, Fox-LaRose said. Will Campbell, oregonlive, "14-story hotel, new restaurants, more gaming space coming to ilani Casino Resort," 5 Oct. 2020 Imagine a young woman, free of makeup, a curtain of black hair, barefoot even in the Massachusetts winter, burnishing 200-year-old ballads in a crammed Cambridge coffeehouse, picking like an old hand at her acoustic guitar. Washington Post, "Listening to her older records, Joan Baez hears perfection in an ‘unsurpassable’ voice," 12 May 2021 Over time, the pigments in this curtain have discolored to an almost imperceptible brown. Colin B. Bailey, The New York Review of Books, "Masterpieces Unmediated," 27 Apr. 2021 On a warm spring night in 2015, an audience in a Minneapolis school auditorium waited excitedly for the curtain to rise on opening night for my middle school's annual spring play. Olivia Devaraj, Star Tribune, "Every Minnesota school should be 'seizure smart'," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Come summer, the nation may become increasingly bifurcated between those who are permitted to watch sports, take classes, get their hair cut, and eat barbecue with others, and those who are left behind the spike protein curtain. BostonGlobe.com, "Forget backstage passes or VIP bracelets. Vaccination cards are the new ticket," 14 May 2021 Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, its turbulence spelled by a hopeful but doomed melody, served as entr’acte rather than curtain raiser. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Review: Star mezzo Joyce DiDonato joins Dallas Opera Orchestra, conductor Emmanuel Villaume, in concert," 11 May 2021 Both Elliott and Lamb suggest heavy-duty Command hooks and a dowel or curtain rod to hang lightweight curtains or fabric panels over less-than-attractive windows or unsightly blinds. Laura Daily, Star Tribune, "How to give your rental a refresh without angering your landlord," 23 Apr. 2021 Both Elliott and Lamb suggest heavy-duty Command hooks and a dowel or curtain rod to hang lightweight curtains or fabric panels over less-than-attractive windows or unsightly blinds. Laura Daily, Star Tribune, "How to give your rental a refresh without angering your landlord," 23 Apr. 2021 That could stop the side and curtain air bags from deploying when needed. BostonGlobe.com, "Quickbase moving headquarters to Boston," 15 Apr. 2021 Both Elliott and Lamb suggest heavy-duty Command hooks and a dowel or curtain rod to hang lightweight curtains or fabric panels over less-than-attractive windows or unsightly blinds. Washington Post, "How to give your rental a new look — without angering your landlord," 13 Apr. 2021 Also, leave the shower door or curtain open after a shower. oregonlive, "Get your bathroom sparkling with these spring cleaning tips and tricks," 25 Mar. 2021 So many modern skyscrapers feature glass curtain walls that at first glance, the Hallidie Building may appear nothing special. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "One of San Francisco's strangest buildings was a mash-up masterpiece," 19 Mar. 2021

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

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Curtain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curtain. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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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