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

Wash a plastic curtain on the highest water level with regular amount of detergent, and add two to three bath towels for extra cleaning agitation. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew in the Mustiest Corners of Your House," 6 Feb. 2019 Imagine triangles spinning around a shower curtain rod inside a beer keg—that is an elemental description of the screaming Wankel rotary engine. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "The Rhombus Rotary Engine: Can a Quirky New Design Top the Famous Wankel?," 18 Jan. 2019 Splash News Joe Jonas took to Instagram to share a behind-the-curtains look into his life with fiancée Sophie Turner. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Joe Jonas Shares A Rare, Intimate Look at His Low-Key Life With Sophie Turner," 12 Dec. 2018 Safety-wise, the EcoSport has side air-curtain tech for both the front and back seats, roll stability control, and Ford's SOS Post-Crash Alert System. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Review: Ford crosses over into the mini-SUV segment with tiny EcoSport," 19 Sep. 2018 Developed a new technique with the curtain rod to generate a sort of jackhammer noise. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "The diary of a broken man and his 'pet' raccoon," 11 May 2018 Litt, who currently writes for the comedy site Funny or Die, tells a story loaded with clever asides and amusing behind-the-curtain anecdotes. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Former Obama speechwriter brings his story to SA Book Festival," 5 Apr. 2018 For years, Tesla’s board remained almost invisible, staying behind the curtain as superstar Chairman and CEO Elon Musk guided the electric car maker to huge stock price increases. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Experts say Tesla board may have too many ties to CEO Musk," 21 Aug. 2018 Your reward is a powerful chute of water with a rare rock overhang that allows visitors to walk behind the curtain of water and plunge pool. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Northern California’s 12 splashiest waterfalls," 17 May 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

9 Mar 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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