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[kurb] /kɜrb/
noun, verb (used with object), British.
curb (defs 1, 15).
Can be confused
curb, kerb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for kerb
Historical Examples
  • Bill pushed his hat forward and walked along on the edge of the kerb.

    While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson
  • There was a mess of thick, congealing blood splashed on the road and the kerb.

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • He was standing on the kerb, and staring at the number on the door in a doubtful way, as I opened it.

  • At the end of the street a taxi was drawn up at the kerb awaiting him.

    Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo William Le Queux
  • Others, more discerning, conjured me to pull in to the kerb.

    Berry And Co. Dornford Yates
  • For the kerb uproar "the uncommunicating muteness of fishes" was the only panacea.

  • He paid the bill in a hurry and hastened after her, catching up with her upon the kerb.

    Married Life May Edginton
  • Faith stood on the kerb while he went in pursuit of a taxicab.

    The Beggar Man Ruby Mildred Ayres
  • Barclay stepped to the kerb, and hailed the driver with his stick.

    The Lieutenant-Governor Guy Wetmore Carryl
  • The driver of a fiacre looked at her and drew his horse to the kerb.

    The Phantom Lover Ruby M. Ayres
British Dictionary definitions for kerb


a line of stone or concrete forming an edge between a pavement and a roadway, so that the pavement is some 15 cm above the level of the road
(transitive) to provide with or enclose with a kerb
Word Origin
C17: from Old French courbe bent, from Latin curvus; see curve


something that restrains or holds back
any enclosing framework, such as a wall of stones around the top of a well
  1. Also called curb bit. a horse's bit with an attached chain or strap, which checks the horse
  2. Also called curb chain. the chain or strap itself
a hard swelling on the hock of a horse
verb (transitive)
to control with or as if with a curb; restrain
See also kerb
Word Origin
C15: from Old French courbe curved piece of wood or metal, from Latin curvus curved


(vet science) a swelling on the leg of a horse, below the point of the hock, usually caused by a sprain
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 kerb

1660s, a variant of curb (q.v.). The preferred British English spelling in certain specialized senses, especially "edging of stone on a pavement" (1805).



late 15c., "strap passing under the jaw of a horse" (used to restrain the animal), from Old French courbe (12c.) "curb on a horse," from Latin curvus, from curvare "to bend" (see curve (v.)). Meaning "enclosed framework" is from 1510s, probably originally with a notion of "curved;" extended to margins of garden beds 1731; to "margin of stone between a sidewalk and road" 1791 (sometimes spelled kerb). Figurative sense of "a check, a restraint" is from 1610s.


1520s, of horses, "to lead to a curb," from curb (n.). Figurative use from 1580s. Related: Curbed; curbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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