adjective, curt·er, curt·est.

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 formscurt·ly, adverbcurt·ness, noun

Synonyms for curt

Synonym study

2. See blunt.




a male given name, form of Curtis. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curt

Contemporary Examples of curt

Historical Examples of curt

  • "I believe you are jealous of the malgamite works," he said, with his curt laugh.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • His reply was curt and pertinent: "It took long enough, young man!"

  • Mrs. Marsh was even more hostile and curt than when I had seen her last.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • “At last you have condescended to come,” said the old proud, curt voice.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • The message was curt, and even cold, but it brought her no disquiet.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for curt



rudely blunt and brief; abrupta curt reply
short or concise
Derived Formscurtly, adverbcurtness, noun

Word Origin for curt

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

Word Origin and History for curt

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