Meaning of CURTAIN in English


I. ˈkər]t ə n, -ə̄], -əi] sometimes ]tə̇n or ]d.ə̇n noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English curtine, cortine, curteyne, from Old French curtine, cortine, from Late Latin cortina (translation of Greek aulaia, from aulē court, hall), from Latin cort- (cohort-), cors (cohors) enclosure, court + -ina -ine — more at aula , court


a. : a piece of material finished with hems, ruffles, pleats, or casings and hung usually by the top edge on rods or poles at windows or sometimes on beds for decoration, privacy, and control of light and drafts

b. : any similar material that serves to screen, divide, protect, conceal, or decorate

a plastic shower curtain

isinglass side curtains on a car


a. : screen : a device that hides or masks : an agency that conceals : a check to clear perception, understanding, or communication

the rebel fort, less than a mile away, was wholly lost behind curtains of rain — Kenneth Roberts

a curtain of reserve which she meant to draw again across her features — Marcia Davenport

b. : an arrangement of moving items or particles serving to screen or protect

a curtain of bullets around the outpost

specifically : a protective sheet or spray of water thrown by a fire hose or sprinkler

c. : a barrier to free communication or exchange of information typically implemented by rigid censorship and restriction on travel and trade : a line demarcating the operation of such a barrier

an iron curtain

a security curtain


a. : the part of a bastioned front that connects two neighboring bastions — see bastion illustration

b. : a similar stretch of plain wall

c. : a geological formation similar in effect


a. : the screen separating the stage from the auditorium of a theater

b. : the ascent of the curtain at the beginning of a play

curtain is at 8:30

c. : the descent of the curtain at the end of a scene or act of a play

d. : a theatrical effect just prior to the descent of the curtain

e. : the final situation or line of an act ; especially : the closing scene of a play

f. : music used to signal the end of a scene or act of a radio or television program

g. curtains plural : end : definitive conclusion ; especially : death — used as a predicate noun

it was curtains for him when his treason was discovered


a. : the part of a wall of a building that is between two pavilions or towers

b. : an exterior wall that serves to enclose rather than to support

6. : a floating boom to protect a riverbank

7. chiefly dialect : shade 7g

II. verb

( curtained ; curtained ; curtaining -t( ə )niŋ, -tə̇n-, -d.ə̇n-\ ; curtains )

Etymology: Middle English curtinen, cortinen, curteynen, from curtine, cortine, curteyne, n.

transitive verb

1. : to enclose with or as if with curtains : furnish with curtains

2. : to veil with or as if with a curtain

an area curtained off from the rest of the world

Father had never curtained his eyes — Isa Glenn

intransitive verb

of paint : to sag or droop because of too heavy application

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.