9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ker-teyl] /kərˈteɪl/
verb (used with object)
to cut short; cut off a part of; abridge; reduce; diminish.
Origin of curtail1
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English curtailen to restrict (said of royal succession or inheritance), probably a conflation of Middle French courtau(l)d (see curtal) and Middle English taillen to cut (see taille, tailor)
Related forms
curtailedly, adverb
curtailer, noun
curtailment, noun
noncurtailing, adjective
noncurtailment, noun
uncurtailed, adjective
lessen, dock. See shorten. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for curtailed
  • State support for cancer research could be curtailed.
  • It curtailed the president's extensive powers in favour of parliament.
  • In world capitals, leaders fortified their security and curtailed public appearances.
  • Wi-Fi by complaining that unregulated wireless technologies risked interfering with licensed spectrum and should be curtailed.
  • Why curtailed meat consumption should adversely affect iron levels in human blood is a bit mystifying.
  • The new procedures have curtailed legal challenges, which often dragged cases out for years.
  • Water travel is curtailed by freezeup in late fall and ice break-up in early spring.
  • Which could mean an end to curtailed conversations on a phone with a dying battery.
  • Corruption needs to be curtailed at all cost, and offenders must be dealt with according to the law.
  • Most of us do not know anyone whose rights have been seriously curtailed.
British Dictionary definitions for curtailed


(transitive) to cut short; abridge
Derived Forms
curtailer, noun
curtailment, noun
Word Origin
C16: changed (through influence of tail1) from obsolete curtal to dock; see curtal
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for curtailed



late 15c., from Middle French courtault "made short," from court "short" (Old French cort, from Latin curtus; see curt) + -ault pejorative suffix of Germanic origin. Originally curtal; used of horses with docked tails, which probably influenced the spelling. Related: Curtailed; curtailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for curtail

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for curtailed

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with curtailed

Nearby words for curtailed