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

Three reasons: talented bartenders, a secret Manhattan menu and VIP booths with heavy burgundy privacy curtains. Michael Hiller, Dallas News, "Want to sneak away? Try these hidden or secret bars in Las Vegas," 9 July 2019 The magnificent bookstore features a large stage that serves as a reading area and cafe, with stunning crimson curtains, as well as balconies wrapping completely around the interior of the building. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "This 100-Year-Old Theater Has Been Converted Into the Most Instagrammable Bookstore in the World," 21 June 2019 This party made Gilead look less futuristic hellscape and more Bachelorette rose ceremony: Guests entered the party through an entryway lined with curtains. Glamour, "Kylie Jenner Reportedly Hosted a Handmaid's Tale-Themed Birthday Party for a Friend," 9 June 2019 Then, the venue: Los Angeles’s Warwick Club, a Hollywood Regency style-space adorned with lush velvet curtains and sparkling chandeliers. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "All the Celebrity Guests at Diana Ross’s Fabulous Birthday Party," 27 Mar. 2019 Photo: © Peter Marino Architect The five-floor store, which opens on November 15, mimics the perfume box with its facade of a black-steel grid framing windows filled with white curtains. Elisa Lipsky-karasz, WSJ, "Peter Marino Opens a Timeless Homage to Coco Chanel," 30 Oct. 2018 Then layer those blinds with lightweight translucent sheer fabric curtains or panels, which will also filter the light. Jennifer Adams, Philly.com, "Ask Jennifer Adams: How to balance outside views and privacy with window treatments," 1 June 2018 They were sequestered in the middle section of the plane with curtains closed. Matthew Lee, Fox News, "2 trips to NKorea with top US diplomat, 18 years apart," 11 May 2018 Kato plays with the curtains and a doorway at the center of the upper stage’s back wall. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, "Moving Company’s ‘Dance Shelter’ always defies expectations; sometimes, it works," 11 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

13 Jul 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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