- the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., befall a person, group, etc.
- a formula or charm intended to cause such misfortune to another.
- the act of reciting such a formula.
- a profane oath; curse word.
- an evil that has been invoked upon one.
- the cause of evil, misfortune, or trouble.
- something accursed.
- Slang. the menstrual period; menstruation (usually preceded by the).
- an ecclesiastical censure or anathema.
- to wish or invoke evil, calamity, injury, or destruction upon.
- to swear at.
- to blaspheme.
- to afflict with great evil.
- to excommunicate.
- to utter curses; swear profanely.
Origin of curse
SynonymsSee more synonyms for curse on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for curses
Who talks about sports “curses” as much as the fans who stubbornly remain fans in the face of such curses?Cleveland Comes Crawling Back to LeBron: The Masochism of Rust Belt Chic
July 15, 2014
Children, even when they are difficult, deserve not to be seen as curses or blights or punishments.Twisted Anti-Vaxxer Parents Choose Fatal Diseases Over Autism
July 1, 2014
Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.The Conservative Crusade For Christian Sharia Law
February 18, 2014
Either fondly or with curses, it is a time to look back at a year grown familiar to us now.New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 1913: How We Celebrated 100 Years Ago
December 31, 2013
Many minors report that curses, threats, and sometimes even beatings are customary during this experience.Dostoyevsky In The West Bank
January 31, 2013
Then there was a current of curses, a swift hissing of invective.Way of the Lawless
On every side arose shrieks, groans, exhortations and curses.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
But Mr. Skillett was alive; his curses were heard above all other sounds.The Gentleman From Indiana
Her filial piety gives her dreadful faith in a father's curses.Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
Curses have, as the wise man said, a habit of coming home to roost.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
- often facetious an expression of disappointment or dismay
- a profane or obscene expression of anger, disgust, surprise, etc; oath
- an appeal to a supernatural power for harm to come to a specific person, group, etc
- harm resulting from an appeal to a supernatural powerto be under a curse
- something that brings or causes great trouble or harm
- a saying, charm, effigy, etc, used to invoke a curse
- an ecclesiastical censure of excommunication
- the curse informal menstruation or a menstrual period
- (intr) to utter obscenities or oaths
- (tr) to abuse (someone) with obscenities or oaths
- (tr) to invoke supernatural powers to bring harm to (someone or something)
- (tr) to bring harm upon
- (tr) another word for excommunicate
Word Origin and History for curses
Old English cursian, from the source of curse (n.). Meaning "to swear profanely" is from early 13c. Related: Cursed; cursing.
late Old English curs "a prayer that evil or harm befall one," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old French curuz "anger," or Latin cursus "course." Connection with cross is unlikely. No similar word exists in Germanic, Romance, or Celtic. Curses as a histrionic exclamation is from 1885. The curse "menstruation" is from 1930. Curse of Scotland, the 9 of diamonds in cards, is attested from 1791, but the origin is obscure.