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[kurb] /kɜrb/
a rim, especially of joined stones or concrete, along a street or roadway, forming an edge for a sidewalk.
anything that restrains or controls; a restraint; check.
an enclosing framework or border.
Also called curb bit. a bit used with a bridoon for control of a horse, to which a chain (curb chain) is hooked.
Also called curb market; British, kerb market, kerbstone market. a market, originally on the sidewalk or street, for the sale of securities not listed on a stock exchange.
the framework around the top of a well.
the arris between an upper and a lower slope on a gambrel or mansard roof.
a belt of metal, masonry, etc., for abutting a dome at its base.
(in a windmill) the track on which the cap turns.
Veterinary Pathology. a swelling on the lower part of the back of the hock of a horse, often causing lameness.
Engineering. the cutting edge at the bottom of a caisson.
Carpentry. purlin plate.
verb (used with object)
to control as with a curb; restrain; check.
to cause to keep near the curb:
Curb your dog.
to furnish with or protect by a curb.
to put a curb on (a horse).
Also, British, kerb (for defs 1, 15).
Origin of curb
1250-1300; Middle English curb, courbe curved piece of wood (noun), stooped, hunchbacked (adj.) < Anglo-French curb, courb curved, bowed; Old French < Latin curvus crooked, bent, curved. See curve
Related forms
curbable, adjective
curbless, adjective
curblike, adjective
uncurb, verb (used with object)
uncurbable, adjective
uncurbed, adjective
Can be confused
curb, kerb.
13. bridle, repress. See check1 .
13. encourage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for curbed
  • If greenhouse gases aren't curbed, sea ice will continue to decline, leaving polar bears thinner and desperate for food.
  • It is what to do with them if their hunting is curbed that presents the country with one of its biggest environmental dilemmas.
  • Transparency must prevail, and wasteful spending must be curbed.
  • Discriminatory habits would be curbed, and the standard for good service would be equalized.
  • Copyrights and patents must be seriously curbed and limited.
  • Unless such suits can be curbed prior to the disruption of a doctor's life, tort reform won't change much.
  • The people making these statements of ignorance need to be curbed.
  • My professor curbed his comments out of fear of the consequences.
  • And so, to build the great nation and foster progress, the power of such selfish reactionaries had to be curbed.
  • It could be years, probably decades before we'll know if bailouts and financial crises really have been curbed for good.
British Dictionary definitions for curbed


something that restrains or holds back
any enclosing framework, such as a wall of stones around the top of a well
  1. Also called curb bit. a horse's bit with an attached chain or strap, which checks the horse
  2. Also called curb chain. the chain or strap itself
a hard swelling on the hock of a horse
verb (transitive)
to control with or as if with a curb; restrain
See also kerb
Word Origin
C15: from Old French courbe curved piece of wood or metal, from Latin curvus curved


(vet science) a swelling on the leg of a horse, below the point of the hock, usually caused by a sprain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for curbed



late 15c., "strap passing under the jaw of a horse" (used to restrain the animal), from Old French courbe (12c.) "curb on a horse," from Latin curvus, from curvare "to bend" (see curve (v.)). Meaning "enclosed framework" is from 1510s, probably originally with a notion of "curved;" extended to margins of garden beds 1731; to "margin of stone between a sidewalk and road" 1791 (sometimes spelled kerb). Figurative sense of "a check, a restraint" is from 1610s.


1520s, of horses, "to lead to a curb," from curb (n.). Figurative use from 1580s. Related: Curbed; curbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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