[ kur-fyoo ]
/ ˈkɜr fyu /


Origin of curfew

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French coverfeu, Old French covrefeu literally, (it) covers (the) fire. See cover, focus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for curfew

British Dictionary definitions for curfew

/ (ˈkɜːfjuː) /


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)
  1. the ringing of a bell to prompt people to extinguish fires and lights
  2. the time at which the curfew bell was rung
  3. the bell itself

Word Origin for curfew

C13: from Old French cuevrefeu, literally: cover the fire
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