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Alternative formsEdit

  • kerb (British) (noun, and verb senses 3, 4 and 5 only)


From Middle French courbe (curve, curved object), from Latin curvus (bent, crooked, curved).



curb (plural curbs)

  1. (American spelling, Canadian) A concrete margin along the edge of a road; a kerb (UK, Australia, New Zealand)
  2. A raised margin along the edge of something, such as a well or the eye of a dome, as a strengthening.
  3. Something that checks or restrains; a restraint.
    • Denham
      By these men, religion, that should be / The curb, is made the spur of tyranny.
    • 2012 April 19, Josh Halliday, “Free speech haven or lawless cesspool – can the internet be civilised?”, in the Guardian[1]:
      She maintains that the internet should face similar curbs to TV because young people are increasingly living online. "It's totally different, someone at Google watching the video from the comfort of their office in San Francisco to someone from a council house in London, where this video is happening right outside their front door."
  4. A riding or driving bit for a horse that has rein action which amplifies the pressure in the mouth by leverage advantage placing pressure on the poll via the crown piece of the bridle and chin groove via a curb chain.
    • Drayton
      He that before ran in the pastures wild / Felt the stiff curb control his angry jaws.
  5. (Canada, US) A sidewalk, covered or partially enclosed, bordering the airport terminal road system with adjacent paved areas to permit vehicles to off-load or load passengers.
  6. A swelling on the back part of the hind leg of a horse, just behind the lowest part of the hock joint, generally causing lameness.

Derived termsEdit



curb (third-person singular simple present curbs, present participle curbing, simple past and past participle curbed)

  1. (transitive) To check, restrain or control.
    • "Curb your dog."
    • Prior
      Where pinching want must curb thy warm desires.
  2. (transitive) To rein in.
  3. (transitive) To furnish with a curb, as a well; to restrain by a curb, as a bank of earth.
  4. (transitive, slang) To force to "bite the curb" (hit the pavement curb); see curb stomp.
  5. (transitive) To damage vehicle wheels or tires by running into or over a pavement curb.
  6. (transitive) To bend or curve.
    • Holland
      crooked and curbed lines
  7. (intransitive) To crouch; to cringe.
    • Shakespeare
      Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg, / Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

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