"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[kurt] /kɜrt/
adjective, curter, curtest.
rudely brief in speech or abrupt in manner.
brief; concise; terse; laconic.
short; shortened.
Origin of curt
1620-30; < Latin curtus shortened, short, cut short
Related forms
curtly, adverb
curtness, noun
1. snappish, sharp. 2. See blunt. 3. abbreviated. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for curtly
  • The boss curtly informs him that he was rejected by the insurance company for being overweight.
  • His answers about the possibility of reaching the post-season dribbled forth curtly.
  • Nothing could be more ill-bred than to treat curtly any overture made in spontaneous friendliness.
  • The co-worker attempted to find out why, and the claimant curtly responded, telling the co-worker to go about her business.
  • He requested permission to be accompanied by a friend, which request was curtly refused.
British Dictionary definitions for curtly


rudely blunt and brief; abrupt: a curt reply
short or concise
Derived Forms
curtly, adverb
curtness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin curtus cut short, mutilated
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 curtly



mid-14c., from Latin curtus "(cut) short, shortened, incomplete," from PIE root *(s)ker- "to cut" (see short (adj.)). Sense of "rude" is first recorded 1831. The Latin word was adopted early into most Germanic languages (cf. Icelandic korta, German kurz, etc.) and drove out the native words based on Proto-Germanic *skurt-, but English retains short.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for curt

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for curtly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with curtly