See more synonyms for curb on
  1. Also British, kerb. a rim, especially of joined stones or concrete, along a street or roadway, forming an edge for a sidewalk.
  2. anything that restrains or controls; a restraint; check.
  3. an enclosing framework or border.
  4. Also called curb bit. a bit used with a bridoon for control of a horse, to which a chain (curb chain) is hooked.
  5. Also called curb market; British, kerb market, kerbstone market. a market, originally on the sidewalk or street, for the sale of securities not listed on a stock exchange.Compare American Stock Exchange.
  6. the framework around the top of a well.
  7. the arris between an upper and a lower slope on a gambrel or mansard roof.
  8. a belt of metal, masonry, etc., for abutting a dome at its base.
  9. (in a windmill) the track on which the cap turns.
  10. Veterinary Pathology. a swelling on the lower part of the back of the hock of a horse, often causing lameness.
  11. Engineering. the cutting edge at the bottom of a caisson.
  12. Carpentry. purlin plate.
verb (used with object)
  1. to control as with a curb; restrain; check.
  2. to cause to keep near the curb: Curb your dog.
  3. Also British, kerb. to furnish with or protect by a curb.
  4. to put a curb on (a horse).

Origin of curb

1250–1300; Middle English curb, courbe curved piece of wood (noun), stooped, hunchbacked (adj.) < Anglo-French curb, courb curved, bowed; Old French < Latin curvus crooked, bent, curved. See curve
Related formscurb·a·ble, adjectivecurb·less, adjectivecurb·like, adjectiveun·curb, verb (used with object)un·curb·a·ble, adjectiveun·curbed, adjective
Can be confusedcurb kerb

Synonyms for curb

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

13. See check1.

Antonyms for curb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curb

Contemporary Examples of curb

Historical Examples of curb

  • Obeying a quick impulse, Percival stepped to the curb as she came opposite to him.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Yet what can I say, for all men know that your valor needs the curb and not the spur.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The cobblestones had gone, and from curb to curb stretched smooth asphalt.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • A disorder which renders the sufferer unable to curb his tongue when you wish to talk.

  • And if I were denied the power, I must, as I now do, curb my inclination.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

British Dictionary definitions for curb


  1. something that restrains or holds back
  2. any enclosing framework, such as a wall of stones around the top of a well
    1. Also called: curb bita horse's bit with an attached chain or strap, which checks the horse
    2. Also called: curb chainthe chain or strap itself
  3. a hard swelling on the hock of a horse
verb (tr)
  1. to control with or as if with a curb; restrain
See also kerb

Word Origin for curb

C15: from Old French courbe curved piece of wood or metal, from Latin curvus curved


  1. 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

Word Origin and History for curb

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