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curtal

[kur-tl] /ˈkɜr tl/
adjective
1.
Archaic. wearing a short frock:
a curtal friar.
2.
Obsolete. brief; curtailed.
noun
3.
a 16th-century bassoon.
4.
Obsolete. an animal with a docked tail.
Origin
1500-1510
1500-10; earlier courtault < Middle French, equivalent to court short (see curt) + -ault, variant of -ald noun suffix; see ribald
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for curtal

curtal

/ˈkɜːtəl/
adjective
1.
cut short
2.
(of friars) wearing a short frock
noun
3.
an animal whose tail has been docked
4.
something that is cut short
Word Origin
C16: from Old French courtault animal whose tail has been docked, from court short, from Latin curtus; see curt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for curtal

Renaissance-era musical instrument and predecessor of the bassoon, with a double-back bore cut from a single piece of wood and built in sizes from treble to double bass (sometimes called the double curtal in England and the Choristfagott in Germany). The curtal was developed in the 16th century, probably in Italy, to be used with choirs as a bass that would be less clamorous than the brasses of the time.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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8
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