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curtain

[kur-tn] /ˈkɜr tn/
noun
1.
a hanging piece of fabric used to shut out the light from a window, adorn a room, increase privacy, etc.
2.
a movable or folding screen used for similar purposes.
3.
Chiefly New England. a window shade.
4.
Theater.
  1. a set of hanging drapery for concealing all or part of the stage or set from the view of the audience.
  2. the act or time of raising or opening a curtain at the start of a performance:
    an 8:30 curtain.
  3. the end of a scene or act indicated by the closing or falling of a curtain:
    first-act curtain.
  4. an effect, line, or plot solution at the conclusion of a performance:
    a strong curtain; weak curtain.
  5. music signaling the end of a radio or television performance.
  6. (used as a direction in a script of a play to indicate that a scene or act is concluded.)
5.
anything that shuts off, covers, or conceals:
a curtain of artillery fire.
6.
Architecture. a relatively flat or featureless extent of wall between two pavilions or the like.
7.
Fortification. the part of a wall or rampart connecting two bastions, towers, or the like.
8.
curtains, Slang. the end; death, especially by violence:
It looked like curtains for another mobster.
verb (used with object)
9.
to provide, shut off, conceal, or adorn with, or as if with, a curtain.
Idioms
10.
draw the curtain on / over,
  1. to bring to a close:
    to draw the curtain on a long career of public service.
  2. to keep secret.
11.
lift the curtain on,
  1. to commence; start.
  2. to make known or public; disclose:
    to lift the curtain on a new scientific discovery.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English co(u)rtine < Anglo-French, Old French < Late Latin cortīna, probably equivalent to co(ho)rt- (stem of cohors; see court) + -īna -ine1, as calque of Greek aulaía curtain, derivative of aulḗ courtyard
Related forms
curtainless, adjective
uncurtained, adjective
Synonyms
1. drapery, portiere, lambrequin, valance. 1, 3. Curtain, blind, shade, shutter agree in being covers for a window, to shut out light or keep persons from looking in. Curtain, blind, and shade may mean a cover, usually of cloth, which can be rolled up and down inside the window. Curtain, however, may also refer to a drapery at a window; and a Venetian blind consists of slats mounted on tapes for drawing up or down and varying the pitch of the slats. Blind and shutter may mean a cover made of two wooden frames with movable slats, attached by hinges outside a window and pulled together or opened at will. Shutters may mean also a set of panels (wooden or iron) put up outside small shops or stores at closing time.
Regional variation note
3. See window shade.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for curtain
  • He imagines that a window curtain is a stage curtain with a packed auditorium on the other side.
  • With each step, the curtain of mountain and forest draws tighter, sealing you off from the modern world.
  • The video game's sound effects seem to fade behind a muffling curtain of suspense.
  • But then the colors vanish all at once as if a curtain has been pulled down.
  • In autumn, when water levels are low, the falls is a peaceful white curtain surrounded by bright yellow and red foliage.
  • Then they would walk behind a curtain to be confronted by the mirror.
  • We ducked through a bright green curtain into a tiny airless room piled with books and smelling of incense and human sweat.
  • After first checking out the target, one group had to putt the ball under a curtain obscuring the view.
  • After viewing the scene, a curtain would lower over the table.
  • Night was drawing and closing her curtain up above the world, and down beneath it.
British Dictionary definitions for curtain

curtain

/ˈkɜːtən/
noun
1.
a piece of material that can be drawn across an opening or window, to shut out light or to provide privacy
2.
a barrier to vision, access, or communication: a curtain of secrecy
3.
a hanging cloth or similar barrier for concealing all or part of a theatre stage from the audience
4.
the curtain, the end of a scene of a play, opera, etc, marked by the fall or closing of the curtain
5.
the rise or opening of the curtain at the start of a performance
verb
6.
(transitive) sometimes foll by off. to shut off or conceal with or as if with a curtain
7.
(transitive) to provide (a window, etc) with curtains
See also curtains
Word Origin
C13: from Old French courtine, from Late Latin cortīna enclosed place, curtain, probably from Latin cohors courtyard
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 curtain
n.

c.1300, from Old French cortine "curtain, tapestry, drape, blanket," from Late Latin cortina "curtain," but in classical Latin "round vessel, cauldron," from Latin cortem (older cohortem) "enclosure, courtyard" (see cohort). The confusion apparently begins in using cortina as a loan-translation for Greek aulaia ("curtain") in the Vulgate (to render Hebrew yeriah in Exodus xxvi:1, etc.) because the Greek word was connected to aule "court," perhaps because the "door" of a Greek house that led out to the courtyard was a hung cloth. The figurative sense in curtain call is from 1884. Curtains "the end" is 1912, originally from stage plays.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for curtain

curtain

Related Terms

bamboo curtain


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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curtain in the Bible

(1.) Ten curtains, each twenty-eight cubits long and four wide, made of fine linen, also eleven made of goat's hair, covered the tabernacle (Ex. 26:1-13; 36:8-17). (2.) The sacred curtain, separating the holy of holies from the sanctuary, is designated by a different Hebrew word (peroketh). It is described as a "veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work" (Ex. 26:31; Lev. 16:2; Num. 18:7). (3.) "Stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain" (Isa. 40:22), is an expression used with reference to the veil or awning which Orientals spread for a screen over their courts in summer. According to the prophet, the heavens are spread over our heads as such an awning. Similar expressions are found in Ps. 104:2l; comp. Isa. 44:24; Job 9:8.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with curtain

curtain

In addition to the idioms beginning with curtain
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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9
12
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