- an order establishing a specific time in the evening after which certain regulations apply, especially that no civilians or other specified group of unauthorized persons may be outdoors or that places of public assembly must be closed.
- a regulation requiring a person to be home at a certain prescribed time, as imposed by a parent on a child.
- the time at which a daily curfew starts.
- the period during which a curfew is in effect.
- a signal, usually made with a bell, announcing the start of the time of restrictions under a curfew.
- a bell for sounding a curfew.
- (in medieval Europe) the ringing of a bell at a fixed hour in the evening as a signal for covering or extinguishing fires.
- a metal cover for shielding a banked or unattended fire.
Origin of curfew
Related Words for curfewlimit
Examples from the Web for curfew
Contemporary Examples of curfew
A nighttime curfew that was imposed a few weeks ago seems barely enforced now—no doubt to the relief of the women at the Ramada.Eastern Ukraine Braces for ‘Full-Scale War’
November 17, 2014
On Friday afternoon, I stood by the Burger King checking the bars on my phone like a kid with a curfew.Canada’s Subversive Sock Puppet: Ed the Sock Isn’t Afraid to Say Anything
November 13, 2014
The city of Miran Shah, for example, was subjected to a nighttime curfew for years.Obama’s Deadly Informants: The Drone Spotters of Pakistan
Umar Farooq, Syed Fakhar Kakakhel
November 12, 2014
Nixon said the curfew is necessary, despite the efforts of some Ferguson residents to prevent looting.Missouri Governor Imposes Curfew In a Bid to Halt Looting and Restore Calm
August 16, 2014
And so swift was the imposition of the curfew that some foreigners were taken by surprise.Thailand’s 19th Nervous Breakdown
May 22, 2014
Historical Examples of curfew
The bell in this tower was in former days used to ring the curfew.England, Picturesque and Descriptive
In Shakspeare's works frequent mention is made of the curfew.
They were allowed to be on the streets after the hour of curfew, for one thing.The Boy Scouts on the Trail
The next day, until nearly the hour of curfew, nothing was seen of Countess.One Snowy Night
Emily Sarah Holt
When the curfew of Notre Dame sounded, they retired to their dormitories.The Story of Paris
- an official regulation setting restrictions on movement, esp after a specific time at night
- the time set as a deadline by such a regulation
- (in medieval Europe)
- the ringing of a bell to prompt people to extinguish fires and lights
- the time at which the curfew bell was rung
- the bell itself
Word Origin for curfew
early 14c., "evening signal, ringing of a bell at a fixed hour," from Anglo-French coeverfu (late 13c.), from Old French cuevrefeu, literally "cover fire" (Modern French couvre-few), from cuevre, imperative of covrir "to cover" (see cover (v.)) + feu "fire" (see focus (n.)). The medieval practice of ringing a bell at fixed time in the evening as an order to bank the hearths and prepare for sleep. The original purpose was to prevent conflagrations from untended fires. The modern extended sense of "periodic restriction of movement" had evolved by 1800s.