- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkɜːtn̩/
Audio (UK) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkɝtn̩/, [ˈkɝʔn̩]
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)tən
- Homophone: Kirton
curtain (plural curtains)
- A piece of cloth covering a window, bed, etc. to offer privacy and keep out light.
- 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., […], , OCLC 2666860, page 0016:
- Thus the red damask curtains which now shut out the fog-laden, drizzling atmosphere of the Marylebone Road, had cost a mere song, and yet they might have been warranted to last another thirty years. A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again, the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire.
- A similar piece of cloth that separates the audience and the stage in a theater.
- 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Lisson Grove Mystery:
- “H'm !” he said, “so, so—it is a tragedy in a prologue and three acts. I am going down this afternoon to see the curtain fall for the third time on what […] will prove a good burlesque ; but it all began dramatically enough. It was last Saturday […] that two boys, playing in the little spinney just outside Wembley Park Station, came across three large parcels done up in American cloth. […]”
- (theater, by extension) The beginning of a show; the moment the curtain rises.
- He took so long to shave his head that we arrived 45 minutes after curtain and were denied late entry.
- (fortifications) The flat area of wall which connects two bastions or towers; the main area of a fortified wall.
- 1603, Michel de Montaigne, John Florio, transl., The Essayes […], London: […] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821:, Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.220:
- Captain Rense, beleagring the Citie of Errona for us, […] caused a forcible mine to be wrought under a great curtine of the walles […].
- (euphemistic, also "final curtain", sometimes in the plural) Death.
- (architecture) That part of a wall of a building which is between two pavilions, towers, etc.
- (obsolete, derogatory) A flag; an ensign.
- 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene ii]:
- Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose
piece of cloth covering a window
piece of cloth in a theater
- 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.
Translations to be checked
- To cover (a window) with a curtain; to hang curtains.
- 1891, Thomas Hardy, chapter IV, in Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented […], volume I, London: James R[ipley] Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., […], OCLC 13623666, phase the first (The Maiden), pages 40–41:
- In a large bedroom upstairs, the window of which was thickly curtained with a great woollen shawl lately discarded by the landlady, Mrs. Rolliver, were gathered on this evening nearly a dozen persons, all seeking vinous bliss; all old inhabitants of the nearer end of Marlott, and frequenters of this retreat.
- 1985, Carol Shields, "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls, Dolls" in The Collected Stories, Random House Canada, 2004, p. 163,
- The window, softly curtained with dotted swiss, became the focus of my desperate hour-by-hour attention.
- (figuratively) To hide, cover or separate as if by a curtain.
- 1593, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, Act II, Scene 2:
- And, after conflict such as was supposed / The wandering prince and Dido once enjoy'd, / When with a happy storm they were surprised / And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave, / We may, each wreathed in the other's arms, / Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
to cover with a curtain