an order establishing a specific time in the evening after which certain regulations apply, especially that no civilians or other specified group of unauthorized persons may be outdoors or that places of public assembly must be closed.
a regulation requiring a person to be home at a certain prescribed time, as imposed by a parent on a child.
the time at which a daily curfew starts.
the period during which a curfew is in effect.
a signal, usually made with a bell, announcing the start of the time of restrictions under a curfew.
a bell for sounding a curfew.
(in medieval Europe) the ringing of a bell at a fixed hour in the evening as a signal for covering or extinguishing fires.
a metal cover for shielding a banked or unattended fire.
early 14c., from Anglo-Fr. coeverfu (late 13c.), from O.Fr. covrefeu, lit. "cover fire," from couvre, imper. of couvrir "to cover" + feu "fire." The medieval practice of ringing a bell at fixed time in the evening as an order to bank the hearths and prepare for sleep. The original purpose was to prevent conflagrations from untended fires. The modern extended sense of "periodic restriction of movement" had evolved by 1800s.