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90s Slang You Should Know


[kurt] /kɜrt/
adjective, curter, curtest.
rudely brief in speech or abrupt in manner.
brief; concise; terse; laconic.
short; shortened.
Origin of curt
First recorded in 1620-30, curt is from the Latin word curtus shortened, short, cut short
Related forms
curtly, adverb
curtness, noun
1. snappish, sharp. 3. abbreviated.
Synonym Study
2. See blunt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for curtness
Historical Examples
  • curtness in letter-writing does not necessarily indicate oddity.

    Collections and Recollections George William Erskine Russell
  • “No,” said Stirling, with a curtness at which Weston could not take offense.

    The Gold Trail Harold Bindloss
  • "Luggage first," said Barebone, lapsing into the curtness of the sea.

    The Last Hope Henry Seton Merriman
  • But he had carried his curtness too far, and was not prepared for the quick retort.

    Dennison Grant Robert Stead
  • Her good-bye came with a curtness that might well have inspired consternation.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • "Obliged to you, Hardy," he said; and only the addition of the name saved it from curtness.

    Told In The Hills Marah Ellis Ryan
  • That is true, replied Tessa, the sorrowfulness of the tone softening its curtness.

    Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline Jennie M. Drinkwater
  • Rovald spoke with a curtness he did not use when the civs were present.

    Star Hunter Andre Alice Norton
  • Though she herself was at fault, the curtness of his message aroused her irritation.

    The Salamander Owen Johnson
  • Instead, she had closed the discussion with a curtness that was not reassuring to the plotters.

    Jane Allen: Right Guard Edith Bancroft
British Dictionary definitions for curtness


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
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Word Origin and History for curtness



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
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